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Blog | Has Santa Monica Airport Brought Westside Traffic to a Halt?

Are Santa Monica residents comfortable with these changes to their city over the past couple of decades?

Just as Santa Monica Airport (SMO) has changed from a recreational airport to a corporate jet center, so has the nature of Santa Monica changed from an ocean-side community to the new Silicon Beach; from environmental green to dollar-bill green.

Rapid change has been taking place since the mid 1990's when corporate and private jet traffic began to skyrocket. Much of the development occurred on Colorado Boulevard, Olympic Boulevard and other locations that are a short limousine ride from SMO's limo services to the numerous offices for the entertainment and technology industries. All this development was crammed into Santa Monica without a decent plan for traffic control. The result: morning traffic crawl into Santa Monica and gridlock leaving in the afternoon.  

What has trickled down to most everyone from this overdevelopment is a traffic nightmare!

Are Santa Monica residents comfortable with these changes to their city over the past couple of decades? Not the neighbors of SMO who are worried about their health and safety. In recent years, Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City and Santa Monicans for Responsible Growth, groups concerned with overdevelopment, emerged to express their dissatisfaction and to pressure City officials to slow down the development.

This coming election Santa Monica voters will decide if they are in favor of Santa Monica's new look or if they want new Council representation who will direct City staff to slow down development. You can only pack so much food into a refrigerator before the door won't close anymore and all the food spoils.

Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution (CRAAP) has endorsed four candidates (see attachment to this blog). 

CRAAP has uploaded video of its fifth consecutive Santa Monica City Council Candidates Forum focused solely on SMO. Access to the YouTube links can be found near the top of www.jetairpollution.com.
It's not short, but it will shed light on the fifteen candidates running for
the four open seats to City Council.

I will be blogging more often with the approaching election because of how important it is. Let me know if you have any questions in your comments. I plan to respond to comments.

Thank you for your time.

Martin Rubin
Director, Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

an interested observer October 06, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Do you really believe that the traffic nightmare that Santa Monica has become, is because all the limo's that go to and from SMO? You actually believe that SMO is the cause of all this development? Maybe, when you close SMO, then all the tech and entertainment industries will relocate and Santa Monica can finally go back to the sleepy municipality it was in the 50's. Those were the day!
Charles October 06, 2012 at 04:17 AM
Thanks so much Martin, Very interesting post! I keep thinking that at some point someone will say that the traffic is too much. What does it take to step back and figure out when enough is enough? When will health, quality of life, and humanity not take a back seat to special interests, money, and over development? What are we leaving our children? Who is ultimately responsible. A great start would be the closing of SMO with a plan on how to best utilize this land for our community, now and decades into the future. Let's hope these candidates can stand tall and are up to the challenges that will beset them.
Paul October 06, 2012 at 02:57 PM
If u don't like growth buy a farm and move. Putting a bucket over your head will not stop traffic on the 405 and 10 or SMO. We bought our houses that were cheaper than Brentwood and Pali because there was fwy and an airport nearby. This is kinda like all the white children of immigrants wanting to shut the door when different coloured immigrants want to come here.
W Smith October 06, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Santa Monica is a mass of confusion. I count approximately seven major building projects around town - almost all are condos with businesses on the first floor. More building is on the way soon, by the looks of some empty plots. Yet, traffic lights are FAR out of sync, residential corners are sidewalk widened to prevent right on red turns. The streets have been re-lined to squash cars to add bike lanes which almost no one uses. Within the last year an advisory firm recommended 3rd Street Promenade build approximately 900 new parking spaces. The City Council approved about 700. Street parking meter rates have increased 100% for one hour. Can anyone PLEASE EXPLAIN the "logical progression" of these decisions? That is, besides the revenue. We already over pay on our local city tax. Has anyone driven around town and seen all the "FOR LEASE" signs? This is total madness and without clear future planning. In 10 years with or without the airport Santa Monica will have hundreds of empty condos and storefronts. Meanwhile, tourists, like the ones on 4th street are taken out like in a violent video game. Santa Monica is not resident or business friendly. It's revenue friendly for it's astronomically high salaried know-nothing council members. I've lived here for 17+ years and seen this place decline. The SMO jet port is the least of the concerns if no one can move from SMO to Montana Ave in less than an hour.
Rob October 06, 2012 at 08:06 PM
I have not noticed more traffic. I think its cool more Jets are going in and out.
Pilot Dave October 08, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Martin, Seriously take your craap somewhere else and move! SMO was never a "recreational airport". It used to be a WWII bomber factory and has always been a thriving and busy airport. Your constant lies and fuzzy math do little to help your cause with closing the airport. I think you would be much happier on pitcairn island, where an airport is not likely to exist.
Peter F. Hartmann October 21, 2013 at 02:28 PM
Let's be honest - more and more people mean more need for public services. That means the CITY OF SANTA MONICA must get more revenue. No sane or responsible local, county, state, or federal govt. entity can allow the property on which Santa Monica Airport is now located, to lie idle. Sure, the developers who can promise more tax revenue from their anticipated projects on that land, will "sweeten the deal" by using some small portion of the land for a larger park than we have now. But "be careful what you wish for". The coming closure of the airport is going to bring you lots more development. If you like the traffic and congestion you have now, you will LOVE what the future MUST bring

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