December 2, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Column: Can we Solve Westside Traffic with more Housing Development?

About the author: Avi Sinai is the principal of HM Capital, a Los Angeles company specializes in hard money real estate loan and private lending. To contact HM Capital you can call (530) 436-5630, or email all inquiries to avi@hardmoola.com

By Avi Sinai

Traffic and housing are two major issues plaguing West Los Angeles. When offering solutions about solutions to the housing crisis, arguments against often cite traffic as a counterpoint. Discussions about solutions to those problems are often one-dimensional and presented in a zero-sum world – if we increase housing production, traffic gets worse. But what they are not opposite sides of the same coin and we can solve both traffic and housing with smart legislation?

This is what Scott Weiner, a California State Senator representing San Francisco is proposing with SB-50. The idea behind the Senate Bill is simple – allow developers to build more near mass transit and major employment zones. Placing high-density housing near transit stops will give workers easy access to their workplace without using a car to reduce inefficient commute during rush hours and encourage public transit. SB 50 also eliminates mandatory parking restrictions and increases height limits by overruling city ordinances. So developers can build more units in certain areas, increasing housing supply and reducing prices, and incentivize public transportation use.

This is a revolutionary idea that stands in direct contrast to the existing dynamic between development and traffic that often dominates Westside politics. Just a few years ago, a Santa Monica initiative was looking to reduce traffic by limiting all new construction in the city to two stories or less. Anti-development groups often cite bad traffic as the first reason to stop limit housing construction. Too often the narrative around the traffic-construction dichotomy is political, and weaponized by elected officials to promote careers and agendas. Developers are ‘neighborhood destroyers’ and pro-tenant groups are called NIMBYs. This rhetoric is neither productive nor moves the conversation closer to a solution.

West Los Angeles will stay in demand for the years to come – the beach, and great weather year-round (except this year) are not going to change. When we discussed the housing problem in a previous column, we mentioned that the only way to lower housing prices in the long term is to increase supply. According to a study, Los Angeles needs to triple new housing construction just to meet the demand, and traffic isn’t projected to get better either. It is time for lawmakers to take initiative and adopt radical ideas that can tackle not just one problem but multiple issues that affect the most vulnerable part of our community.

Related Posts

A SMa.r.t. Thanksgiving

November 23, 2022

November 23, 2022

SMart has much to be thankful for this year: We are thankful for the courage of all who face death...

SMa.r.t. Column: Renting and Owning. The Santa Monica Long View

November 18, 2022

November 18, 2022

In May, 2020, SMa.r.t. urged the city to consider establishing community land trusts, in which community-owned land is leased at...

SMa.r.t. Column: Santa Monica Housing Development – Poison Pills, Bad Data and the Blame Game

November 11, 2022

November 11, 2022

Prior councils have made long term decisions that have locked the city into an extraordinarily fixed path, the consequences of...

Column – Gas Gougers Beware: California Is Onto You at Last

November 11, 2022

November 11, 2022

By Tom Elias It has taken more than 50 years of on-and-off gasoline price gouging, but at long last California...

Video: Santa Monica College on Measure SMC

November 7, 2022

November 7, 2022

Enjoy this live interview with Measure SMC campaign co-chair Shari Davis in this paid segment.

Video: Santa Monica Police Officers Association on Their Election Endorsments

November 7, 2022

November 7, 2022

Santa Monica Police Officers Association Vice Chair Carlos Madrid joins the Santa Monica Mirror for a paid segment on the...

Santa Monica Mirror 2022 Election Endorsements

November 4, 2022

November 4, 2022

By the Santa Monica Mirror Editorial Board Santa Monica City Council Albin Gielicz  Albin has been involved with the community...

S.M.a.r.t. Election Recommendation

November 4, 2022

November 4, 2022

Editor’s note: The following endorsements should not be attributed to the Santa Monica Mirror. They are the opinion of Santa...

Letter to the Editor Santa Monica Mirror: In Response to Mr. Schwich’s Letter of November 1, 2022

November 3, 2022

November 3, 2022

Mr. Schwich, an employee of the United States Tennis Association, made many serious and disingenuous allegations in his letter to...

Letter to the Editor: Tennis v Pickleball (and the City of Santa Monica)

November 1, 2022

November 1, 2022

In communities both large and small across America, the debate involving tennis and pickleball has become increasingly louder. But in...

Column: Who’s the ‘True’ Democrat in CD-11?

October 30, 2022

October 30, 2022

So who is the true Democrat in this race to succeed Mike Bonin in CD-11? While the campaign for city...

SMa.r.t. Column: Santa Monica’s Pending Apocalypse

October 28, 2022

October 28, 2022

Editor’s note: The following endorsements should not be attributed to the Santa Monica Mirror. They are the opinion of Santa...

Column: Follow the Money This Election Season

October 27, 2022

October 27, 2022

By David G. Brown Earlier this month I read with great interest the coverage of local campaign finance filings and...

Column: Excess School Lands for Teacher Housing?

October 22, 2022

October 22, 2022

By Tom Elias, Columnist Do voters want more teachers living in their communities, even if it means a little more...

SMa.r.t. Column: 4500+ Units Permitted!

October 22, 2022

October 22, 2022

In the last month your City was forced by the State of California to approve the construction of about 16...