I started to think about pedestrian safety when I would see dead pigeons in the lots that had been run over from speeding motorists.

Many visitors drive through the Beach Lots much faster than the 5 MPH speed limit and the small, asphalt-colored birds can’t get out of the way fast enough. I have seen several run-over in person. If the birds aren’t safe, the people might be at risk as well.

However, I blame the drivers slightly less than I blame the City Of Santa Monica. There are very few, if any, reduced-speed inducements in the beach lots. Until very recently there were ZERO (0) speed-limit signs in Lot 5 South.

After I wrote to the City Council in September they have since installed TWO (2) speed limit signs in Lot 5 South. Currently there are TWO (2) speed-limit signs, THREE (3) Tsunami warning signs, and SIXTEEN (16) ‘Hours Of Operation’ signs in Lot 5 South. Which is more likely to occur in Lot 5 South, a Tsunami, or an accident involving a pedestrian and a speeding motorist?

And if it takes SIXTEEN (16) signs to sufficiently inform visitors about the Hours Of Operation, how can it be that it only takes TWO (2) signs to sufficiently inform them of the maximum speed at which they can drive a motor vehicle through the lot? Does the City of Santa Monica consider it more important that visitors to the beach lots have a better understanding of the hours of operation than the speed-limit? It sure seems that way.

The City of Santa Monica seems to place a higher priority on parking ticket profits over pedestrian safety in its Beach Lots. This is unacceptable. Speed bumps at the crosswalks should also be installed to force motorists to slow down where people (and wildlife) are most at risk. Motorists often pick up speed as they are heading for the exit and the crosswalks are right in the middle. Pedestrian safety and the prevention of animal cruelty should be high on the agenda of all Santa Monica residents and employees. A lot more yet needs to be done towards that end in Santa Monica’s Beach Lots.

Michael Zeno

Santa Monica

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