|The Lookout Letter to the editor|
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A handful of bars and restaurants on Main Street are pushing a hare-brained scheme to close the street to vehicular traffic on weekends so they can expand their seating areas into the entire roadway ("City Council Moves Forward With Main Street Closures," April 29, 2021).
Is it not enough that they have already commandeered public sidewalks and parking spaces to the detriment of smaller retailers on Main Street? And where do they propose that displaced cars, buses and emergency vehicles should go?
At a time when the City is trying to cut costs, spending tax-payer money to benefit certain private businesses at the expense of others and subjecting a residential neighborhood to greatly increased traffic, pollution and noise is ill-advised to say the least.
“Vast” Majority of Ocean Park Residents Kept in the Dark
Local press and TV are parroting the Santa Monica Main Street Merchants’ and Ocean Park Association’s (OPA) canard that a “super” or “vast” majority of Ocean Park Residents support a proposed weekend closure of Main Street to all vehicles (cars, delivery trucks, buses, emergency vehicles) and parking.
The truth is, the “vast” majority of Ocean Park residents have not been informed about the proposed closure and do not know anything about it. Of those who do know, residents who live in the most impacted neighborhoods from the beach to 4th Street, Ocean Park Boulevard to the City Border are opposed.
They fear the chaos of more traffic, parking, rowdy bar and restaurant patrons, and diverted delivery truck, bus, and emergency vehicles into their neighborhoods will mean less safety for their kids, families, and homes.
Main Street bars and restaurants are pushing this scheme. Other retailers fear the loss of visibility from drive by traffic and street parking will, in fact, hurt them.
Responsible journalism means full investigation. Why haven’t our local newspapers and local TV stations reported fairly on the Main Street closure issue?
Main Street is a major Santa Monica north/south commercial and traffic artery. It runs through residential neighborhoods with no east/west commercial feeder streets.
Taking a major public city street for the commercial benefit of a few bars and restaurants is an irresponsible urban proposal. Failure to investigate and fully report this proposal to the public is irresponsible journalism.
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