January 19, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Worst Santa Monica Gridlock In 18 Years: Letter To The Editor:

Dear Editor,

On Saturday, March 23, 2013, I went to the annual meeting of Mid-City  Neighbors (one of the seven official neighborhoods in Santa Monica) held at the Main Library.

I exited the parking structure on 7th Street  at about 3:15 pm, turned west to Santa Monica Blvd, which was solid  with cars. Traffic was at a stand-still. 

For the next 20 minutes I sat in gridlock traffic. In 20 minutes my car had progressed  one block and a half. I live just south of the pier, and figured that at this rate it would take me at least two hours to get home, so I turned north when in another 10 minutes I finally reached Santa Monica and 5th Street

5th street was moving slowing. I reached Arizona, headed for Lincoln.   Lincoln was a parking lot.  It took me another 12 minutes to go one block on Lincoln where  I managed to turn left on Santa Monica Boulevard. It was clear going east.

Downtown gridlock used to start at 5th Street going west. Now that Colorado has been closed, gridlock starts east of Lincoln. And it was locked tight.

On my gridlocked path, there were NO people walking. It was as if  this line  of traffic was sitting in a deserted City. It was eerie. But keep in mind that residents already know not to go downtown.

Also keep in mind that not one single building of the 35 development agreements in the hopper has been built. Not one. Only one street has been closed. And that one street closing has locked the gridlock tighter than it’s ever been since the City started engineering the traffic downtown. This does not portend well for the future of downtown Santa Monica as City planners and developers envision it. 

I suggest they check out the conditions on the ground before they proceed. Everybody seems to think they can squeeze 35 more developments into Santa Monica and the world will just move over and make room.  

Doesn’t work that way. When streets get choked with traffic, just one more car (just one) can lock the traffic and make it immovable. I suggest that the planners get out of their theoretics and go check the condition on the ground. 

They may be in for a shock, particularly on weekends. When the light rail is finished, it’s likely more people will arrive via train, but as Rod Gould has acknowledged, the bulk of  people from all over Southern California will continue to arrive  — by car. 

In fact, the light rail may do very little to alleviate grid-lock on the ground and  wishful thinking won’t make it different.

Ellen Brennan

Santa Monica

in Opinion
Related Posts

Santa Monica’s Future: Will Developers or Residents Rule? – Part 2 Our Downtown

January 14, 2022

January 14, 2022

This is the 2nd of five weekly articles looking at the history and current condition of Santa Monica’s beachfront environment...

Column: Let’s talk About the Soil

January 12, 2022

January 12, 2022

Everyone knows that we are undergoing a climate change not seen on the earth before. We all understand what is...

A New Years Glimpse Into Santa Monica’s Future: Will Developers or Residents Rule?

January 7, 2022

January 7, 2022

It’s a New Year, a make-or-break year for Santa Monica!! How much do you care about your city and it’s...

Opinion: Attorney General Spurs on Big 2022 Housing Battle

January 7, 2022

January 7, 2022

By Tom Elias, Columnist There will be plenty of political battles next year, starting with likely reelection challenges to Gov....

Should California Have a Formal Right to Shelter?

January 3, 2022

January 3, 2022

By Tom Elias, Columnist On a de facto basis, Californians have had a right to shelter for many years. But...

SM.a.r.t Wishes for 2022

January 3, 2022

January 3, 2022

We wish for: All California residents to gain back the control of their Cities from Sacramento’s draconian power grab by...

SMa.r.t. 2021 Christmas Card

December 22, 2021

December 22, 2021

Dear Readers, SM.a.r.t. (Santa Monica Architects for a Responsible Tomorrow) wish you all a joyous Holiday Season and a Wonderful...

Seismic Water Resiliency

December 16, 2021

December 16, 2021

This is the 2nd part of two-part article  (see smmirror.com/2021/12/sma-r-t-column-its-not-your-fault/ for the first part) Last week we wrote about the...

SMa.r.t. Column: It’s Not Your Fault

December 13, 2021

December 13, 2021

This is a two-part article Two large tectonic plates are engaged in a titanic multi-million year battle to slip past...

One of LA’s Best Omakase Counters is Tucked Away in a Santa Monica Hotel Lobby

December 8, 2021

December 8, 2021

Sushi Chef Masa Shimakawa’s Soko restaurant offers an extraordinary culinary experience By Sam Catanzaro Tucked into the lobby of a...

Building Conversion in Today’s Market Environment

December 3, 2021

December 3, 2021

Adaptive reuse, repurposing, and up-cycling of industrial and commercial buildings (“Conversion”) for greater in-demand uses are rapidly becoming the direction...

Opinion: Shore Hotel and Unite Here Local 11

December 3, 2021

December 3, 2021

By David G. Brown  While reading one of the mass text messages recently sent by Unite Here Local 11 in...

State’s Housing Solution Starts Happening

December 3, 2021

December 3, 2021

By Tom Elias, Columnist It’s happening. Despite the best efforts of California’s highly ideological, developer-financed state legislators, the solution to...

Opinion: SB 9, 10: The Rebellion Begins

November 19, 2021

November 19, 2021

By Tom Elias, Columnist It was inevitable from the moment Gov. Gavin Newsom in mid-September signed this year’s two most...