Blog: Open Letter to City Council to Terminate Jeffrey Tumlin's Contract

Residents are calling for the dismissal of planning consultant Jeffrey Tumlin, who has shown himself to be incapable of providing an objective analysis of our traffic and parking problems.

Residents all over our city are calling for the dismissal of planning consultant Jeffrey Tumlin, who, as you can read below, has shown himself to be incapable of providing an objective analysis of our traffic and parking problems.

We will be sending the following open letter to City Council, signed by as many Santa Monica residents as possible. If you would like to add your name to it, please do so by hitting "reply" and writing the words: "Add my name" followed by your name as you would like it to appear on the letter.

Here is the letter:

Dear City Council:

We are writing to urge you to dismiss planning consultant Jeffrey Tumlin.

While we are concerned by Mr. Tumlin's proposal to decrease the amount of parking required by new developments in our city-- this in spite of residents asking for MORE parking not less-- we are even more troubled by Mr. Tumlin's contemptuous attitude toward Santa Monicans.

In his own bio (on his website, http://www.nelsonnygaard.com/Resumes-NN/TUMLIN-J-resume.pdf as of 2/24/13) Mr. Tumlin describes Santa Monica residents concerned about overdevelopment and traffic, as: "...NIMBYs who used traffic fear as their primary tool for stopping development."

This dismissive attitude toward residents' legitimate concerns is alarming coming from a man who is tasked with finding solutions for ALL stakeholders in our community. Mr. Tumlin should be listening to residents-- who not insignificantly, are paying his salary-- rather than vilifying them.

Mr. Tumlin's attitude also betrays his belief that all development is good. He has shown that he has already made up his mind: residents' concerned about development are not to be taken seriously.

Additionally, Mr. Tumlin is dead wrong when he states, (also on his website, dated 2/24/13) "For decades, Santa Monica politics had been dominated by NIMBYs…"

The development history of Santa Monica is one of rapid growth, with over nine million square feet of new development added during the period Mr. Tumlin cites. (Which greatly exceeded our 1984 General Plan.) No one can reasonably say that "NIMBYs" have stopped development in Santa Monica or "dominated" Santa Monica politics. Indeed, such an assertion is outrageous.

Mr. Tumlin has also espoused the controversial idea of decoupling parking from new apartment projects; that is, allowing new apartments to provide less parking than currently required, this despite the fact that many Santa Monica neighborhoods have a history of terrible parking shortages. Requiring new units to have less parking benefits no one but developers.

Mr. Tumlin is wrong to demonize residents and he has demonstrated no interest in knowing or understanding the unique characteristics of our city. Instead, he calls residents names meant to diminish us.

Worse, he has undermined his credibility. If those with whom he disagrees are mere "NIMBYs", he must already know the results he's looking for. His conclusions and suggestions are now irrelevant.

As residents we urge you to terminate his employment immediately.

Thank you,

Diana Gordon, SMCLC

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.

Captain Liberty March 01, 2013 at 08:26 PM
No, Gary, I don't want the streets set up for speeding. I want the streets set up to eliminate gridlock as much as possible rather than increase it. So am I right to conclude that you like the city's program of increasing density to a destructive level while eliminating parking and making the streets impassible? It really is a brilliant plan if you want property values to take a hit. But thanks for the lesson in values. I'm sure we need it as much as you need gridlock.
Gary Kavanagh March 01, 2013 at 09:44 PM
One person's idea on how to "eliminate grid lock", may be another person's death sentence. There are complex webs of trade offs that don't fit into the bumper sticker ideologies of those imagining themselves as some kind of anonymous comic book hero. The fact is under the old configuration, Ocean Park Blvd. had twice as many crashes in the annual record keeping, so anyone who fights to change it back, is conversely, for the doubling of crashes from the present lower rates.
Gary Kavanagh March 01, 2013 at 11:19 PM
Ms. Charney, I've been writing about bicycling and transportation issues in Santa Monica for 5 years now and only more recently have I been paid anything for any blog post contributions, but I would have kept blogging with or with out pay for my efforts. Everything I write is mine alone, with no editorializing by anyone else other than to make corrections on website for which I have contributed. And I would never ever accept money simply to write comments or project some other views or agenda, and hold in the lowest regard anyone who does. If you don't agree with me, that's fine, to each their own opinion, but maybe take off the tin foil hat and throwing conspiracy accusations that someone who disagrees with you could only be doing so out of some paid manipulation. Would you be willing to say I am some paid troll, "wanking egos", to my face? Or is that you can only lob such venomous accusations and personal attacks because you are separated by digital space. If you have an idea of merit worth sharing, it will stand stronger on it's own terms than to simply make personal attacks. I jabbed a bit at the "captain" here a little more than I otherwise might, because they have no identity on the line, just another anonymous troll, and one making light of murder (cement block comment). Making such personal attacks as yours and accusations of fraudulence at real people, with real identities, is very low. What a juvenile person you are.
Gary Kavanagh March 02, 2013 at 05:06 AM
I am paid to contribute a blog post column once a week to Streetsblog with my own views on the goings on in Santa Monica relating to transportation issues, particularly of those pertaining to the compete streets movement to design streets to serve more than just automobile throughput. That is of no financial connection to my writing commentary elsewhere or commenting on other sites such as this in my own capacity which I get no pay for. I'm not a paid troll, I admitted no such thing, I simply disclosed I do get paid (very little for time it takes) to write content for a blog. The relationship of writing for Streetsblog, and my writing outside of that is separate. I'm not sure exactly what you are referring to as "my kind", do explain, but I've lived here since I graduated college in 2006 and was visiting frequently adding to the sales tax collected here long before that because where I went to school was close to a Big Blue Bus line to get to Santa Monica easily without a car. Santa Monica has a number job opportunities in the field I was qualified for coming out of school, and I wanted to ensure I had a short commute so I would never have to drive hours every day just to go to work, so I moved here out of school, which was very difficult to afford at first when I was under debt, but made it work.
Gary Kavanagh March 02, 2013 at 05:19 AM
You also where quite specific on more than one occasion of accusing that I take cash from developers, which is fundamentally different than getting paid (not very much) to contribute a blog post once a week for a non-profit advocacy organization. The throwing around taking cash from developers comments at myself or anyone you happen to disagree with is bordering on conspiracy when you have no substantiated basis for such slander and thus the tin hat comment. Streetsblog, the publication that I contribute opinion columns to is a non-profit funded by reader contributions and very limited advertising that is carefully selected. I also criticize developments frequently on the basis that they are too auto-centric design or add too many parking spaces, diminish pedestrian space and a number of other factors that inform my own judgements of how development ought to take shape. I have been to as many development meetings to comment on the public record calling for changes or against a particular project as I have supported them. I am my own voice, and am not persuaded by any development interests. I support some projects, sometimes with reservations and recommended changes, and bash others.
Captain Liberty March 02, 2013 at 06:58 AM
Let me get this straight. Ocean Park was transformed from two lanes into one in both directions in order to cut down on the number of accidents? So by reducing the volume of traffic by 50% we have reduced accidents by 50%. Why not reduce it by 100%. That would eliminate accidents completely. And to hell with the public that needs to travel both east and west on Ocean Park. Pure genius.
Gary Kavanagh March 02, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Traffic volume was not halved on Ocean Park, & if I recall correctly was not substantially changed (but bike ridership that was almost nonexistent before has been slowly growing since). One of the primary causes of the crashes was that with 2 wide through lanes each way, there was no dedicated space to make a left turn in the old configuration, & when drivers would try to make lefts conflicts would occur from turn movements or other drivers would swerve & speed around people holding to make a turn. Because of the seperating of turn movements in the current configuration & the delays turns can cause for through traffic, travel times & volumes were only modestly effected but safety gains were substantial across the board for all street users. For more information I would inquire with Lucy Dyke of the city transportation planning department, as she is who I originally heard present the safety & traffic volume records since that change had been made.
Dan Charney March 03, 2013 at 02:10 AM
Harry, The bottom line is people who can afford over half a million for a condo - or multi- thousands for an apt and the cost of eating in all these trendy and expensive restaurants and shopping at high end retail ( who else can pay the rents )- are not going to give up their cars- who is kidding who here? While they may walk and ride bikes, take buses ( lots of cancelled routes now ) and the trains when they get here- they are not giving up cars- anyone who thinks they will is not being realistic- even fairly moderate income people I know in NYC have cars- amazing- and it kills me to see Santa Monica become that- this rush to satisfy LUCE is insane and partly Metro's fault for their three year delay-now it's a mad scramble so many serious things are overlooked- I think LUCE is the worst thing that could have happened here- why didn't they go to Redondo who can use the help - we don't need more condos and business parks and density and hotel rooms and tourists- we have plenty- take the Urban Crawl somewhere else- ruin some other city- but if you are going to do it - then do it right- the election of the four council members was bought by the developers= they want a return and my experience is business gets what they want- they do not care at all what anyone thinks- downtown SM lost my business years ago - so have other areas - I cannot drive down Rose Ave anymore without almost killing texting nerds- we need creative city planning = not a rush to satisfy LUCE-
Kent Strumpell March 03, 2013 at 07:01 AM
I too am fed up by the traffic we face in Santa Monica. It is choking our roads, blighting our commercial districts and causing injuries regularly. As long as Santa Monica is an attractive place to live, work and visit, we're probably stuck with congestion. But I just don't see how continuing automobile-centric planning will make life any better for us. I DO see how providing attractive alternatives could help. Frankly, I think the general strategies laid out in the LUCE make a lot of sense and so did most of the other people who attended the numerous meetings. There was strong, repeated calls for more and better ways to get around so folks have inviting options to using a car for every trip. Revising our parking policies has a crucial role to play too. Pervasive free parking is like a traffic magnet, so we really need to reconsider if this gets us what we want. Jeff Tumlin has been at the forefront of helping cities find solutions to exactly the problems we face and winning many awards for it. It would be a real shame to see Mr. Tumlin's much-needed talents hounded out of town by groups that apparently want to discredit ideas they don't like on the grounds of one ill-conceived sentence uttered years ago. But even if they are successful in this shamelessly inflammatory tactic, the fundamental plans that we worked tirelessly to distill into the LUCE will remain, as will Jeff Tumlin's valuable guidance that helped us find a new vision for what is possible.
Dan Charney March 03, 2013 at 11:21 AM
here is is- I found it: Harry Chauncey "I am new to this discussion, but this is my concern about Mr. Kavanaugh. In his resume and his response I find him to be patronizing and aloof. I know that there is a move to science to traffic, but despite all the science, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. My guess is that planned improvements only wind up being improvements 70% of the time. Also he calculation for less accidents on Ocean Park Boulevard would have to include the ancillary accidents that are caused by drivers using alternate east-west routes. Personally, I find myself using alleys to get where I am going during rush hour. Can that be safe? I was raised in a town that years ago was famously ruined by well-intentioned redevelopment and at the time there were patronizing young Turks like Mr, Kavanaugh leading the charge. I also understand the theories behind reducing parking spaces to create a car-free city. It is not clear that it will work in Santa Monica in the long run, but it is totally clear in the short run that the town is a far less pleasant place to navigate. What is most disturbing is Mr, Kavanagh’s lack of humility in dealing with the natural resistance to being made to sit in traffic for some greater good that most residents don’t see coming. For me I see an overdeveloped, overpopulated Santa Monica and a diminution in the quality of life, but of course,
Dan Charney March 04, 2013 at 05:32 AM
Captain, I've lived right off OPB since 1981- it's changed PLENTY- forget trying to go east after 3- soon 2- only the new people here are not aware of it- I used to use Venice, Olympic and OPB to cut around traffic- forget it now- they are freeway alternate routes as are all E- W streets and my street- 4th is a freeway during rush hours- for those of us who can't ride a bike- the 4th St bus line is now gone so for seniors or others - tired after work ( if they are lucky enough to have any )- it's a long walk or two buses with groceries to get anywhere - and at night - not so safe anymore-
Gary Kavanagh March 04, 2013 at 06:12 PM
There is a lot more speeding than "gridlock" in Santa Monica, it is only narrow windows of time in specific areas where significant congestion occurs. I say this after last night hearing and witnessing a horrible crash outside my apartment where a driver speeding and going through a red light hit another vehicle full of young women, deploying all air bags, and sending shattered debris all over 14th St. at the corner with Broadway. Thank god no one was seriously hurt, but the impact sounded like a bomb going off. High speed crashes are way to common. Secondly, if you want a complete break down of my time in Santa Monica, since this is so important to you, here you go: 2002-2006 I was in college at Otis College of Art & Design. I had no car in college because my family & I couldn't afford school and a car. I rode the BBB frequently to Santa Monica to visit, because the downtown and pier were more interesting places to be than near my campus, and the BBB #3 made it easy to get there. Graduating in 2006 I moved to Santa Monica immediately because I already enjoyed the area and knew that it had digital media opportunities I was qualified for. So my time spent here regularly is about 10 years, my time living here between 6 & 7. I had a car for 2 years after school, but got rid of it after taking up bike commuting. In any case, measuring how many decades one has existed before should not simply translate to more say on plans shaping events decades to come.
Gary Kavanagh March 04, 2013 at 06:43 PM
To answer "why have we not heard from you before", I don't know what you are talking about, where have you been? I was writing opinion columns and comments for Patch when the website first launched in 2010. http://santamonica.patch.com/articles/a-vote-in-favor-of-the-bicycle-action-plan I had been writing my personal bicycling blog, mostly focused on Santa Monica, since 2007. I was at some of the LUCE meetings, & have been at public workshops when ever I had the chance schedule permitting. The 3 months before February I was less active than usual because my work commitments involved significant overtime as a major multi-year project was completing (my primary job is video game development). February I had as an open block of time between projects. For older folks, Prop13 and those who got locked into strict control have incredible advantages, and the median age for the Santa Monica population has been trending *older*, not younger (median SM age of 40.4 is a solid 5 points higher than rest of CA). Only a tiny fraction of SMC students are able to live here, though incredibly despite the distance barriers, more than half of SMC students get to campus without driving. The barriers for young people to get in & hold on, are significant in Santa Monica, and suppressing housing development in prior decades (residency was negative growth in SM from 1980-2000 while regional population grew) is one of several factors contributing to the imbalance driving present high rents.
Gary Kavanagh March 04, 2013 at 06:58 PM
The points you are making there can all be easily flipped to driving and apply, and not only apply, but are more applicable given the significantly higher damage reckless drivers cause. Many drivers are rude, break laws, and are arrogant as hell, and cannot drive their cars in a straight line. Like the driver who demolished the 76 gas station sign up the street for me , or the driver who ran a red light just last night at 14th & Broadway and nearly crushed the worlds of the group of young people in the vehicle that was broad sided. Luckily no one had life threatening injuries, but I can still hear the screams ringing in my head and I was nearly a block away at the time of the impact. I've been shouted at, screamed at, cut off, tail gated, had drivers throw garbage at me, get out and physically assault me, simply for exercising my legal right to ride a bicycle, and operating within the rules of the road. You should be glad I don't take my anger out on drivers in the same manner some drivers take their road rage out on bicyclists. I'm interested in design that reduces conflicts, legal reforms, or in some cases simply getting the legal system to enforce it's existing codes, not physical assault. I've lost count of how many times motorists have made deliberate threats against my life.
Captain Liberty March 04, 2013 at 07:00 PM
The bottom line is that due to a flawed master plan which I expect never envisioned approval of the kind of density that is now SOP for the city, and the financial influence of the developers who, is seems, are hell bent on squeezing the last acre of land out of the city for their profit, our quality of life is under attack as is the value of our homes. All this rumination about riding bikes completely misses the mark.
Dan Charney March 04, 2013 at 10:33 PM
This kind of density is "a day at the beach"- it's only just begun and I don't think LUCE will help much at all- I wish it would- but I doubt it - especially for those whose neighborhoods it's going through every few minutes- it's just a bad plan- but I do think those who support LUCE and less parking intend to do away with all of the rent controlled people and older people who cannot ride bikes- they intend to take the city over for themselves- it's a new age and new attitudes- not mine-so time for me to go- good luck to all
Gary Kavanagh March 04, 2013 at 11:28 PM
Beyond a certain point, older folks shouldn't be driving period, that is a reality no matter how much one may wish otherwise. There will come a point for everyone aging with a car, where someone younger in their life is going to ask for their keys, or if that time doesn't come, they may just ruin and destroy the lives of others, and have to live out the last moments of their life with blood on their hands. This isn't exaggeration, this is the reality and the headlines on the streets of Santa Monica every year. I fight for a city with better public transit service, with bike routes that don't require an adrenalin rush to get somewhere, and streets people can cross without being mowed down by high speed traffic. People ride bikes and walk to get around well into old age in cities that make it safe to do so. Trying to frame this as young people pushing for other options besides driving as some kind of turf war with older people is such a false dichotomy, and ultimately to the detriment to the retired who can no longer drive at all or may shortly be unable to. Approximately 100 million Americans do not drive for reasons including age, affordability, disability, or simply prefer not to. They deserve the dignity of more reliable bus service, walkable & bikable streets, and housing and shops in closer proximity, so that they may have the opportunity of self autonomy to travel affordably and safely without dependency on others.
Gary Kavanagh March 05, 2013 at 09:17 PM
Danielle, I don't really want to have to go go here, but it bears reminding that beyond a point, older folks shouldn't be driving cars, period. There will come a point for everyone aging with a car that doesn't want to give it up, when someone younger in their life is going to ask for the keys. If that time doesn't come, they may just ruin and destroy the lives of others, & live out the last moments of their life with blood on their hands. This isn't exaggeration, this is the reality & the headlines on the streets of Santa Monica every year. I fight for a city with better public transit service, with bike routes that don't require an adrenalin rush to get somewhere, and streets people can cross without being mowed down by high speed traffic. People ride bikes and walk to get around well into old age in cities that make it safe to do so. There is a man named Octavio in Long Beach still cycling at 103 years old (now on a 3 wheeled bike). Trying to frame this as young people for bikes as a kind of turf war with seniors is to the detriment of the retired who can no longer drive at all. Approximately 100 million Americans do not drive for reasons including age, affordability, disability, among others. They deserve the dignity of more reliable bus service, walkable & bikable streets, & housing and shops in closer proximity, so that they may have the self autonomy to travel & meet their needs affordably and safely without dependency on others to chauffeur them.
Captain Liberty March 05, 2013 at 09:34 PM
Oh great, you don't want our old people to drive because 100 million Americans don't drive. So Gary, how many of them are under 16 and how many live in developed cities like NY where they have subways? And when will the subway arrive here in SM? And if no subways where will the busses drive in the gridlock you're helping to create? Perhaps you're thinking of personal helicopters or large inflated helium balloons so all the old people could just float from place to place -- unless of course there's a strong wind where they'll all be delivered into the arms of Culver City. That's quite a plan you have in mind.
Dan Charney March 05, 2013 at 10:02 PM
Statistically , most car accidents are caused by the youngest drivers- although I cannot argue that at some point the keys must be taken from older folks. When I was left with fluid in my ears from a viral flu, at my own doing, even though intermittently, I could have driven a short way to Bob's Market or TJ's- I chose not to for over a year just incase I has some vertigo - even slight- so I am of course for not letting anyone drive who is a danger- oddly- the most dangerous drivers I see now ( and honestly I almost never drive anymore unless I have to and wish to God I could ride a bike, horse or sail again )- are people on cell phones and texting or turning around to talk to their kids- I am all for effective transit- I just don't see it really happening and I also don't want density of massive condos and more pretentious retail - I came here to live in a sleepy beach city 30 years ago- not to live in NYC- I came from near NYC and can't take being there anymore for even a few days- the noise, the buses the constant motion. It's literally not possible for me to go from my apt to get groceries without a really long walk in one direction or another with heavy bags- older people can't really do that- or what about going out at night? Are you a single woman who's had a gun held to your head? Don't want to walk around here at night. For many, it will become a "ghetto" mentality- we will never be able to leave- but now that we have little protection for RC- we probably be gone now
Gary Kavanagh March 05, 2013 at 10:07 PM
I don't want our old people (beyond a point which does very) to drive, because I don't want them to kill me, it's frankly a real matter of self preservation in this town. And I think the best way to do that is make it easier to live without driving so people don't feel compelled to clutch the steering wheel well past their ability to do so responsibly. I also think there should be stricter standards to get a license in the first place that focuses on youth crashes as well. The traffic fatality count skews heavily into an inverse bell with the youngest and oldest drivers causing the most deaths. This is a problem across the spectrum. Mark Overland, 72, the lawyer of the driver who caused the farmers market massacre, after the case became interested in if we make it too easy to be licensed. Overland is considered legally blind with 94% vision loss. He got a new drivers license from the SM DMV with no problem: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/oct/30/local/la-me-1031-lopez-dmv-20121031 This terrifies me as someone who has to share the road with people piloting higher powered machines, and it's an unacceptable breach of public safety. As for the 100 million non-drivers, it clearly isn't just NYC (pop 8.2 mil), and does include many seniors who already can't or don't drive in the United States, and yes some too young to drive. Why is it so hard to accept many people already don't drive, and that they deserve viable choices?
Gary Kavanagh March 05, 2013 at 10:54 PM
Creating opportunities for closer grocery store or corner store access is a big deal for viable walkability, which is why I supported the recent proposal of renovation of a currently vacant medium sized storefront to become a Fresh & Easy. But the anti--anti-any-development crowd jumped all over it, attacking at the float up, with some of the most angry comments I had seen at a meeting, focusing on the fact the property as existing had fewer parking spaces than parking minimum zoning would require of a grocery use conversion. That could have been a shorter walking distance for groceries for some, but it probably won't happen as company is in a financial bind now & their reps looked like deer in headlights before the packed crowd of anti-development speakers (and the 3 supporters including myself). Fresh & Easy later scrambled for ideas to not go through a DA public process, which including ideas such as chopping up store & using some space as leased storage since that use has less parking requirements. That such a proposal would be considered is an absurd product of one size fits all approach of parking minimum zoning. This was no mega tower, no office complex, just a budget grocery store in an existing but vacant space. Why going for the throat at a budget grocery store drew a bigger opposing crowd than say the Agensys bio tech campus did at it's meeting (which bike advocates opposed because site design formed a super block not fitting LUCE), I have no idea.
Dan Charney March 06, 2013 at 12:08 AM
Gary - I am all for the Fresh & Easy and I wonder who those activists really were? did you know them and recognize them? I wonder if they weren't plants from the miserable Whole Foods or some other competitor- I would love to help the Fresh & Easy people and will happily support their efforts- you can't find parking at WF or TJ easily either - although I wont' support WF on principal and only go to TJ because it's reasonable and I am not rich- I prefer to shop at the farmers markets and do not eat meat so a local organic or healthy small markets is to me- paradise- would they have survived however without the ability to park since we are still a car dependent town for many- since they have taken away the 4th St bus I have to drag groceries or take two buses for a long time to get to a decent market - not so easy with the residue of balance issues- and definitely not at all possible for the elderly- sounds like Fresh & Easy need some good backers- this town is hard to get any business done in which is also why I am so down on NMS and the other rich developers walking all over us with their sub-standard designs- shoving out diversity and tearing down the good old buildings instead of re-habbing them and using solar and other eco -friendly systems- if ever an area could make it with alternative energies - it's here- plenty of sun - I don't remember reading about the Fresh & Easy meeting- but I just started going and don't think I will continue- it's a joke -
Dan Charney March 06, 2013 at 12:11 AM
For instance- in all these new developments - why not lobby for a Fresh & Easy to be in each one in the retail as mandatory? It would provide food shopping for the residents and those of the local area- to me that should be a requirement if we are to be what we say we are- for sustainability - if the markets are good and fair what a great thing to include in each and every single development and business park-
Susanne Jacobson March 08, 2013 at 04:06 AM
No new units without equal parking!
Kathy May 14, 2013 at 05:09 PM
I 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th this. Why would building new buildings without amply parking (for bikes, too!!!) is INSANE and just stooooopid. I could care less if the property owner will loose a few dimes, I DO NOT CARE!!! Parking is IMPORTANT & NECESSARY for all sorts of reasons, i.e., safety, convenience for the general public AND residents, lessens traffic "situations", etc. etc. etc.
Kathy May 14, 2013 at 05:17 PM
I was "sort of" with Gary for awhile -- but with these last statements he blew me wayyy away from his ideas and plans. I can see where they are driven --> towards bikers ONLY, and screw the rest of us - no matter what the age. Old folks can just pack up and leave a city they have supported for a hell of a lot longer than he has (AND how does he support the City of Santa Monica other than his blogging and opinIons???), the population of 55 years and older are the people with large and small businesses, AND homes, they have maintained here (which I am one of these people!), residents paying the property taxes and raises to support the schools, roads, etc. ADIOS GARY !!!
Kathy May 14, 2013 at 05:24 PM
I do NOT want more bikers taking advantage of our insensible traffic laws/regulations giving bikers a sense of owning the entire road. I intend to read the biking laws/regulations because I am tired of endangering myself because of their rude, uncaring riding on the streets, AND they are STILL riding their freakin' bikes on the sidewalks. I had to literally jump out of the way for a biker (about 35 years old) riding on the sidewalk in front of Whole Foods (23rd & WIlshire) traveling VERY fast! I was so damn angry I wish I would have pushed him out into the street. But thank God he had his helmet on!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Yep, Gary walking is so much fun with these sorts of bikers actions happening way too often.
Gary Kavanagh May 14, 2013 at 08:53 PM
Kathy, I have never said "bikers only", I'm not sure where you are getting that from, and have been quite explicit in promoting transportation choices. When many people drive for trips they hate to make by car but feel compelled to because alternative means are subject to hazard, harassment, or unnecessary inconvenience or other things our society subjects non-car travelers to, that is not a just model of freedom or mobility. I pay taxes here like anyone else, my primary employment is in video game development locally. I live here, work here, shop here, eat here, and rarely take my money elsewhere. Many seniors cannot drive at all, so it baffles me why promoting pedestrian and bicycle safety, and better public transit service is perceived like some attack upon the elderly. Many seniors aren't driving (and some are who perhaps shouldn't) and they deserve better choices. Some cannot ride bikes, but I've never said any one mode of transportation is appropriate to everyone. However some folks can ride, well into late age, like Octavio Orduño, who rides a 3 wheeled bike around regularly in Long Beach at the age of 104 now. We should be make safe spaces and streets that can accommodate self powered mobility for anyone that wants the opportunity to do so free of assault and harassment by motorists. High quality bike facilities also significantly reduce prevalence of sidewalk bicycling by buffering bicyclists from on road harassment and assault.
Gary Kavanagh May 14, 2013 at 09:10 PM
Kathy, I believe having housing that people can afford is equally as important as having parking spaces. Overbuilding parking in multifamily housing structures significantly contributes to higher rents, in some cases as much as a few hundred dollars a month difference. Whether parking is mandated for housing or not, most developers build it. Within the downtown, developments don't have to build parking & haven't had to for years because they pay into the parking district garages and lots. However most developers build on-site parking for housing anyways. One recent proposed project without car parking, only bike parking, passed the public process but was rejected for financing as proposed without parking by skeptical local banking interests that are tepid about deviations from what they are used to. However I do not believe legal mandates for parking should be the highest priority given the defining problems of the 21st century. Any number of things could be higher priorities, more affordable units, solar energy, better durability, greater water efficiency, but none of those priorities are placed as high as we do on subsidizing car parking. In the Pico Neighborhood 20% of households have no car, but 0% of new housing is built without bundled car spaces, raising housing costs to accommodate cars, even for people who don't drive. I don't believe car free households should be forced by the government to pay for the private real estate demands of car owning households.


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