Using City Property to Make Our Lives Worse.
Gerald discusses the Proposed Development of the T Lot.
The biggest issue in the last City Council election was traffic. Every candidate paid lip service to the concept of reducing traffic congestion.
The traffic in our city is often maddening. We need ideas for reducing the problem, not a project that is guaranteed to make traffic a lot worse.
Thus, I find it amazing that our City Council has been working with a large developer to create a plan for a large development of the City owned T lot, a large open space north of Wilshire Boulevard, between Beverly Drive and Canon Drive. Such development would supposedly include a hotel, luxury condominiums, retail space and parking.
Wilshire Boulevard and Beverly Drive are both important streets for many residents who are just trying to get around. The last thing we need is a project that will generate hundreds of extra cars on these streets. This project is like squirting a drowning man with a fire hose.
If the City Council could first address the traffic problem, then such a project might be bearable, but even then, I would like to know a lot more about the alleged commitment of up to $30 million of public funds to this project and the proposed revenue sharing arrangement.
I would also like to see an open process involving more than one potential developer. An open bidding process would protect us from cronyism. I realize that the proposed developer owns adjoining property. However, the T lot seems large enough to support its own project, and there appears to have been insufficient consideration of alternative uses that might have far less impact on our traffic problem.
I am so sick of the traffic problem that I am going to take the time to suggest three solutions:
I realize that all three of my ideas would cost money Ė precious funds that could otherwise be gloriously used on such vital projects as fountains in the industrial center or parking for a childrenís theatre that will be used a few hours every week. There is no glory in taking difficult, expensive steps to reduce the traffic problem. No monument, no sizzle, no insider deals, no political hijinx.
Maybe if we offered to name streets after council members who solve the traffic problem, they will actually make an effort? At this point, I would be willing to support almost anything to make the traffic better.
In the meantime, the next time it takes you twenty minutes to get a mile or two down one of our busy streets, please appreciate that traffic could be a lot worse, and will get a lot worse if the T lot project goes forward.