It took us 25 minutes to drive 1 mile from Ocean Park to Downtown Santa Monica on Saturday evening. Main Street was worse.

We sat in gridlock in front of several abominable looking, unfinished “mixed-use” structures on Ocean Avenue across from the Loews Hotel, realizing that the impassable traffic in our city is only beginning to come home.

The thought of a canyon of more ugly “mixed-use” development on Lincoln Boulevard north of the 10 Freeway and the traffic impact that it will bring is unimaginable.

After living in Santa Monica for 20 years it is sad to watch our city ruined by outside real estate interests intent on harvesting our land, and who will likely never live here to suffer the consequences of their greed.

I read letters almost every day in this newspaper from residents appalled and outraged by the senseless over-development now underway. Where are our City Council members on this most important issue facing our city? Whose interests are they representing? They ignore the constant complaints of over-development, with disingenuous excuses that the light rail system will somehow offset the traffic coming with the development they’re permitting. What hogwash. City Hall knows that the light rail will only bring in tens of thousands more people to the beach on the weekends, and won’t do anything to alleviate traffic.

What has the City Council really done to address the crush of traffic? Other than permit unprecedented development, they’ve arrogantly worked to constrict, or as they like to call it, “beautify,” the city’s major arteries.

The latest example is Ocean Park Boulevard, which is now a single lane traffic jam approaching Lincoln from the beach. Yes, they needed to grab the federal money before it went away, so they could plant trees where cars once drove. All justified by twisted, utopian logic that creating problems will make people drive less.

And by the way, the trees they planted in the middle of Ocean Park Boulevard obstruct driver views. Last week I was almost hit by a car crossing Ocean Park Boulevard and Third Street as I emerged from behind vegetation in the median. What idiocy!

The City Council is either tone deaf, incompetent or corrupt concerning the problems they are creating with development. They’re not stupid, so my guess is that they’re corrupt. Somehow, outside developers are getting their way in our city, much to the detriment of our way of life. There’s too much money at stake to think otherwise. If it’s not as blatant as money being passed under the table, it is a lack of spine on the part of the city’s decision makers.

The back room deals regarding the Miramar project’s environmental impact report is the latest example of how the city is giving residents the bum’s rush. They are not listening to us. They are listening to others.

The only way for this to stop (if it’s not too late) is to march to City Hall and demand some accountability. Let’s stop the madness before Santa Monica is completely ruined by piggish outsiders and unresponsive government.

Santa Monica Daily Press, let’s have some journalism on this subject. Please, follow the money!

And citizens of Santa Monica, don’t forget to vote during the next City Council election.


Bob Roberts

Santa Monica

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