I support the Hines Bergamot Transit Village. I’d love for it to have more housing and fewer car parking spaces. But … we’ll be fine with this development.
We agreed in the Land Use & Circulation Element to densify around our transit stations and this activates those ideas. If anything, I don’t think it’s dense or tall enough, considering it’s right next to the Expo station. I don’t want the Papermate building re-used. We are trying to break up our many superblock barriers. Penetrating blocks every 300 feet with pathways creates human-scaled places comfortable for pedestrians and bicyclists to navigate. The Bergamot Transit Village nicely breaks up the parcel with new streets and sidewalks and those will be the keystone that will transform and give structure to the whole Bergamot area.
I am disappointed in the vote from the leaders of Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (“SMRR board says can the Hines project,” Jan. 22). They prove themselves to be poor urbanists. Some of them say they are working to slow climate change, and yet they are still measuring this development by how it’s going to affect traffic: a car-first point of view, a whatever-makes-life-easier-for-motorists point of view. Auto use seems to have peaked in 2000. Thank goodness that younger people are not so hooked on driving. We need to provide social equity and plan for their needs. We have privileged drivers for far too long. We have given them way too many promises and too much real estate — roads and parking. That is so last century.
Multi-modalism is the future. There is a latent demand for walking, bicycling and using transit. Now we need to privilege and enable them and those willing to use them and this development does that. The plan contains very aggressive car-trip reduction measures. Not building so much parking in the first place may be much easier. We have to change the expectation there will be cheap parking available at the end of each car trip. We need to attract people not chained to cars.
For a better city and climate, it’s going to take more bicycling infrastructure, more transit and denser concentrations — housing and commercial —around transit to provide access by proximity, not by driving.
The Hines plan integrates a lot of water and energy efficiency solutions. The location, the density, the transportation demand management package, and these water and energy measures are why this plan will build a better city and help slow climate change and should be approved.