Let me introduce myself. I have been a resident of Santa Monica for over 30 years and as an architect, urban designer, and city planner have practiced in this city for more than 40 years.
In the last several years I have been completely dismayed by the total lack of planning that I see manifested in the nature, size and location of development projects in this city. Residential and commercial mixed-use projects which neglect the need for public open space. An Expo Line whose right-of-way is certain to bifurcate the city and radically complicate traffic already burdened in Downtown. Seemingly random bike lanes striped on residential streets reducing the vehicular access and endangering both the bikers and the drivers.
Perhaps worst of all is the political cronyism of city officials, elected and appointed, who see no need to discuss and or heed the input of the many design professionals who call this city their home and who have often offered to provide their advice gratis to them. I have witnessed this firsthand, most recently as an applicant for membership on the reconstituted Santa Monica Pier Board.
We definitely are in need of a change before it is too late to save any semblance of the quality of life that this city once represented.
Samuel M. Tolkin