(File photo)
(File photo)
(File photo)

Seven years ago, the City Council approved a plan to convert curb parking lanes for “bus and bicycle only” use on Lincoln Boulevard from the city border with Venice to Michigan Avenue.

I wrote about it numerous times in 2005, saying it was a dumb idea.

Parking would be eliminated on northbound curb lanes during morning rush hours and the southbound curb lanes during evening rush hours. I noted that only eight Rapid/Regular No. 3 Big Blue Buses ran on the 1.5 mile-stretch at peak hours and there just wasn’t enough bus use to justify the lanes.

City staff claimed the lanes would save up to eight minutes of bus time. I figured a minute or two. It turns out that I was correct because staff hadn’t included passenger boarding and disembarking times in their original figures.

In the meantime, staff was waiting for a similar scheme to be implemented on the Venice/Marina del Rey stretch of Lincoln before implementing its plan.

Lincoln business owners complained that eliminating street parking would inconvenience customers. Because of their complaints and the realization that the “the overall public benefit of a very short bus-only travel lane does not significantly reduce the travel time for customers riding the service compared to the impact of traffic delays created in the segment” the plan is now on indefinite hold.

While it may be dead for the time being, traffic jammers in City Hall promise the proposal could be resurrected if bus/bike lane plans were to be implemented further down on Lincoln. It seems that city traffic planners just can’t let go of stupid ideas and bad planning that only increases traffic congestion.


Tumlin still fooling himself


The Planning Commission held two public hearings this month on the Bergamot Area Master Plan. The eastern border area around Olympic Boulevard and Colorado Avenue has become the “neighborhood du jour” for developers despite citizen opposition over more traffic congestion.

Enter one of city planning’s favorite unicorn chasers: Jeffrey Tumlin, a principal in Nelson-Nygaard Consulting Associates, Inc., based In San Francisco. His urban and traffic planning consultancy has received multiple city contracts totaling millions of dollars. When it comes to non-sensical and outlandish solutions to traffic and development issues, Tumlin wins the prize.

Tumlin’s disdain for residents is open and obvious. In his resume posted on Nelson-Nygaard’s website, he describes cities — Seattle, San Francisco, Abu Dhabi and Santa Monica — where he’s solved traffic and urban planning problems unique to each location.

Under “Santa Monica,” he posts, “For decades, Santa Monica politics had been dominated by NIMBYs (SIC) who used traffic fear as their primary tool for stopping development …” Aside from being absurd, the statements are offensive. I’m calling Tumlin out on his rudeness and lack of respect for his clients.

Tumlin ignores that Santa Monica has been dominated by social engineering politicians who, for decades, have shoved traffic calming and wishful thinking that’s created our traffic nightmares down everyone’s throats.

Tumlin came up with a cockamamie theory that various sustainable practices would negate traffic increases from new development. It was “no new peak hour car trips.” However, even he realized that was ludicrous, so he amended it to “no net new p.m. peak hour car trips.” Only, that’s a fantasy, too.

While still clinging to a leaky boat that’s going down fast, Tumlin actually told the Planning Commission on Feb. 13, that the proposed Bergamot Area Plan would result in a reduction of 700 p.m. peak hour daily car trips. About two-million total square feet of new projects are in the pipeline for the Bergamot area with just the pending development applications. Yet, 20,000 projected daily car trips are projected in the various applicants’ Environmental Impact Reports.

City Hall planners and politicos need to do what most of us “NIMBY’s” have already done and that’s to stop listening to this mess. Time to cancel Nelson-Nygaard’s contracts. If City Hall’s decision makers want hokum and fairy tales, there’s the children’s reading room at the library — and it’s free.


‘Freedom Memorial’ an excellent idea


A lot of people think I complain a lot. So, for a change of pace, here’s something worthy of my praise.

Congratulations to council persons Bob Holbrook and Kevin McKeown for suggesting a memorial to recognize the men and women from Santa Monica who served in our military services and gave their lives in defense of our freedom.

Based on some excellent research by City Hall intern Ginamarie Vollucci, 97 persons have already qualified for listing on an honor wall to be erected at the mausoleum in Woodlawn Cemetery. There’ll be room for additional names to be added including those who may die in Afghanistan along with those from earlier wars who may have been overlooked or whose military records were lost or missing.

Holbrook came up with the idea for the memorial and McKeown was a strong advocate for it. At their last meeting, the City Council unanimously approved establishing a private fundraising effort to raise money to pay for a “Peace Memorial.”

An estimated $7,500 to $10,000 should do the trick. A public fundraising campaign will kick off at the annual Memorial Day services in Woodlawn Cemetery on May 27.

I can understand the political correctness involved in not wanting to call it a “War Memorial,” but calling it a “Peace Memorial” is not accurate, either. After all, these heroes died fighting wars.

How about “Freedom Memorial?” Isn’t our freedom why they made the ultimate sacrifice?



Bill can be reached at mr.bilbau@gmail.com.

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