I noticed a terrifying headline, “Traffic counts show a gridlocked Santa Monica,” Our Town, Aug. 6.
I’m shocked! Shocked! As a half-century resident and homeowner in our town, how come I never noticed this? Is that why it’s taking me hours to do my usual errands around town? And give up going anywhere east after 2 p.m. or even earlier? (Heavy sarcasm off.)
The column’s author, Zina Josephs, has done her homework. Not only does the Bergamot Area Plan that she evaluates need revising, but the deeply flawed Land Use and Circulation Element is dead on arrival. Our town is sprouting apartment buildings apparently all designed from the same dull, cookie-cutter set of plans. And let’s not even go into the 244-foot white phallus proposed for Ocean Avenue by a superannuated “celebrity architect.”
In the early 1970s we threw out the City Council that had voted to raze the historic Santa Monica Pier and build an environmentally-destructive concrete island just offshore with a huge hotel and other tourist “amenities.” We chose not to become Miami Beach on the Pacific Ocean. Alas, politics is turning the clock back.
The “Gang of Four” — sobriquet applied to the development mavens on the City Council — have been deluged with complaints from old and new residents. But they hearken to another tune — the jingle of campaign contributions and future benefits from out-of-town developers, just like the U.S. Congress. Some of us thought our town was better than that fetid swamp.
People used to gripe, but not turn out on election day. This time it will be different.