I almost killed three people this weekend. Well four really, if you count the kid who decided to keep going on his red light, while on a Bird scooter.

Traffic has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels in my estimation, especially in the downtown corridor. This is where my trio of dangerous interactions with pedestrians came about as I was considering a HiHo Cheeseburger on Saturday night, they were packed and I didn’t want to wait. Thankfully the traffic was so dense that I was not driving at anywhere near a dangerous speed, so when individuals decide to cross the street in the middle of the block, and not look, I could stop easily and quickly.

It seems that the vast bulk of us are done with being cooped up, and with the glorious spring weather here for the foreseeable future, we are ready to get back to normal, even if that means socially distanced seating, wearing masks and continuing to bring down the infection rates of Covid-19.

The hordes of local tourists, those from outside the city, are landing on the streets of Santa Monica, which is a blessing for those businesses that were able to weather the past year. I expect that the next eight months are going to be a boom time for our local eateries and hotels as travel is opening up again. The hospitality industry has been devastated and will take up to two years to get back to full staffing and normal operations is what I hear, but frankly I find that hard to believe with the numbers of people who are unemployed and looking for work.

International travel will be opening up specials and discounts soon, and with that will be bring us our usual coterie of foreign visitors. I look forward to that, as one of the things that I’ve always loved is hearing the variety of languages as I stroll the city.

Which brings me to the reminder that we all must be more aware as we drive the city, because it’s getting dangerous out there again. Gone are the pandemic days of making across town in 5 minutes. We’re back to the 20 minute commute down 2nd street from Wilshire to Colorado. One would have thought that the city planning and traffic control divisions would have taken advantage of the pandemic downtime to fix some of the endemic problems of traffic that we have. They certainly could have been working remotely and in Zoom rooms to come up with a new pattern for the flow of traffic and lights.

Santa Monica has been responsive to the needs of the community from a healthcare perspective, of that there is no doubt. But it’s come at a cost to the businesses that are serving the public. The increased costs and requirements of PPE that are allowing us to get back to some semblance of normal are eating into the profits and I think that to counteract that the city should consider ways to increase access to the Promenade and making traffic flow better.

I’m not an expert, or even a hobbyist, on traffic patterns, but it seems to me that there has to be a better way to deal with the large numbers of cars and people that are coming to the downtown area than what we have. I am not proposing that we institute a toll or a “cost based” structure. The city charges too much money as it is in parking meters and those annoyingly expensive parking tickets I get at least twice a year (Seriously why is it a $63 fine for overtime parking? That’s absurd and should be made a much more reasonable number.)

As we move towards the summer rush of people, let’s all keep an eye out for those who feel that they can step into the flow of traffic with impunity. It’s about to get very busy and crowded – for which we are all thankful – but we need to be on alert as we get back to normal.

David Pisarra is a Los Angeles Divorce and Child Custody Lawyer specializing in Father’s and Men’s Rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at dpisarra@pisarra.com or 310/664-9969. You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra