The resident survey results show pretty clearly that concerns about traffic and parking are predominate among Santa Monica voters, and that the negative effect of development, which a lot of them are most worried about, is its aggravating this traffic and parking situation.
However, it does not show that the basic Santa Monica planning strategy with regard to development and traffic is wrong or that there is a better one.
I would summarize the strategy as: given that there is no real way to significantly alleviate present traffic congestion in the city, focus on creating the kind of urban environment that will allow people to be less dependent or not dependent on the automobile through density, mixed-use and focus on alternative transit. These people, at least, will be able to escape the congestion. And with time, and concerted planning in this direction, such a life style will be increasingly widely practicable.
This strategy is a bitter pill, offering very little comfort to those who do not see ways to currently restructure their lives accordingly, or who just like to drive their cars. But it is probably the right strategy, given the intrinsically intractable nature of traffic congestion and the fact of continued growth in the region. It is also exemplary from a global perspective, given the role of automobile use in now known issues with non-renewable resources and global warming. I urge you to use the study session as an opportunity to advocate for it.

David William Martin
Santa Monica

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.