Michael Feinstein called it like it is regarding the botched Big Blue Bus “shelters.” Nobody wanted them; the entire community vehemently protested against them, but we got them anyway. No shade, no shelter from rain (may Heaven send!) and no place to sit on those cozy little seats without brushing against some stranger’s ham.
Then BBB has the nerve to respond to complaints from disabled people who needed back support and from passengers who needed someplace to put their “stuff” by asking usto choose a configuration! Truly, chutzpah redefined!
Feinstein may be an insider, but he needs glasses to see the “real time signage, lighting, shade and recycling” he cites as amenities brought by the Bus Stop Improvement Project. After furious protest from the taxpayers, minor adjustments were made, but “shelter” is still a joke name for these pretty things.
After making weak excuses for the City not acting when community outrage peaked, Feinstein rightly concludes: “The reality is that we are installing bus seats across Santa Monica that are uncomfortable and unsatisfactory to a large segment of our community.” Amen!
Years ago, when I first happened to see these plans, on an unrelated visit to City Hall, I thought it had to be a joke. Nobody would seriously consider such a totally non-functional design. Turns out, $7,000,000 later, we are stuck.
Could this wretched excuse for a public facility indeed have been designed to keep those less fortunate from using the old comfortable, functional benches which the City seems to think were intended only for the more fortunate?
Writers for Santa Monica Forward completely misinterpret my intent on housing. It’s always disappointing when rigid partisanship blinds community members to shared values on which we should be working together.
When the Council removed the Broadway/Colorado activity center, recognizing that intensified commercial development between Colorado Center and the soon-to-come St. John’s Phase II along Broadway might overload the area, we left the Tier 3 in place. Upon reviewing the video of the meetings, I realized this had not been discussed and may have been inadvertent. Tier 3 commercial development there is not what we need.
Councilmember Ted Winterer and I have been discussing modifying the Tier 3 in that area to make it for housing only (with retail at the ground floor, of course). We don’t need massive office buildings next door to the 750,000 square feet of medical office space on Broadway that St. John’s is entitled to build under their 1997 Development Agreement.
We can give a significant incentive to housing development instead.
So this is a progressive, PRO-housing action.
Mayor Kevin McKeown