Letters to the Editor 8-24-17
Path to nowhere
I was disappointed to see unanimous approval by the Manhattan Beach City Council for a “bike path” to be constructed through Polliwog Park (“Bike path approved though Polliwog Park,” ER Aug. 17, 2017). The Council failed to demonstrate an actual need, nor any evidence of how the path would be a solution for that need. The only evidence provided, a photo of kids crowded on a street corner near the school, shows there is pedestrian traffic before and after school. How would a strip of concrete mitigate this in any way? Once kids arrive at that same corner there is no connecting safe path on any of the streets. The real problem is the street traffic on Redondo Avenue. This does nothing to address that problem. This so-called plan lacks any underlying data or strategic thought. It is simply an excuse to spend grant money before the grant expires. That money is our tax dollars and shouldn’t be wasted just to avoid losing it. The money can go back into the pot and we can apply for a new grant — one that actually has a reasoned and objective use. This money has been available for five years The failure to conceive, evaluate and create a viable plan for its use simply shows a lack of planning. Our limited green space should not have to suffer for lack of leadership. Let’s start over with a review of the issues and suggestions for amelioration That conversation should include everyone, not just the city traffic engineer and the middle school.
Alice P. Neuhauser
Trite, but trusty
Is it worth creating a hazard to fix a problem that doesn’t exist? Apparently our city council thinks so. After MBUSD played the trite, but trusty “child safety” card, Council kowtowed to demands for a 12-foot wide bike path in close proximity to the sidewalk in Polliwog Park along Redondo Ave. from Manhattan Beach Blvd. to Manhattan Beach Middle School. Though Traffic Engineer Erik Zandvliet acknowledged he is not aware of a single accident involving children riding their bikes to school in that area during the nearly 20 years MBMS has been in existence, Superintendent Mike Matthews scoffed at the need for empirical data. After all, who needs facts when the school board has proxies on council? Former councilman Tony D’Errico warned his colleagues about the dangers of constructing an amenity that will likely draw a confluence of bikes, skateboards and scooters. Though the City and MBUSD may seek refuge from liability by raising a defense of “trail immunity” (a form of governmental immunity), Council should heed the caveat. Why abandon existing protocol with an unblemished, enduring track record in favor of one likely to cause harm, if, as Mayor David Lesser said, “This is about the safety of our kids.”
Plan of a lifetime
Please attend the Draft EIR meeting on Saturday, August 26, 2017. It’s 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the old Hallmark shop on the third floor of the Galleria (“Redondo rebound,” ER August 3, 2017). It is a presentation of findings on the Forest City plan for the new South Bay Galleria, followed by the public giving their verbal or written comments. You can read the DEIR (and comment by Sept. 11) at redondo.org. This plan will affect your life in many ways, for better or worse. Parts of it look good. But there should be no residential units. A residential element would have far-reaching and negative consequences. The DEIR even says that some traffic impacts cannot be mitigated. It takes a drive on Hawthorne Boulevard and other nearby streets now (Inglewood Avenue anyone?) to see that traffic is already bad. Do we want it to be horrendous? Please make your voice heard
What’s in the bag
Manhattan Beach Residents for Responsible Development lawsuit against the city and developer Paragon Commercial Group was quickly settled. But it contains a confidentiality provision that prevents residents from knowing what Paragon is required to do in response to the complaint. The residents want answers, because this list of violations is exactly what the residents had complained about at council meetings. The 46-page complaint alleged violations of the California Environmental Quality Act,
It’s so discouraging that people from Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo and Redondo Beach think that darling little Playa del Rey is their personal speedway to get them to work and avoid traffic on the 405 Freeway and Sepulveda Boulevard (“Traffic jam,” ER August 17, 2017). I noticed that every one of those towns has very nice downtown with plenty of parking and no speedways zooming through it.
Not there yet
I am really shocked that everyone thinks the Vista Del Mar traffic issue is over (“Traffic jam,” ER August 17, 2017). Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin simply opened Vista Del Mar back up, which was not the problem that caused the traffic in the first place. Culver Boulevard is the problem. It’s still going to be backed up for two miles, back to the 90 freeway. Parking was not the issue, in spite of the so called agreement between Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn and Bonin. It has no relevance to the traffic back up that occurs everyday now and has not changed at all. A good headline does not solve a problem. Take the time to understand what’s going here. His apology needs work as well. Where was the acknowledgement that he ignored our Mayor’s and Councilman’s phone, calls as well as insulting the the citizens of Manhattan Beach. Then he tried to blame it on the LADOT, as though he had nothing to do with it.
Size not everything
How is it that a little, local newspaper does a more thorough job of reporting the facts about Vista Del Mar than the L.A. Times (“Traffic jam,” ER Aug. 17, 2014)? Well done, reporter Ryan McDonald.
Remember the highway
Pacific Coast Highway at Artesia Boulevard appears to be Hermosa Beach’s forgotten child (“PLAN Hermosa set for vote,” ER Aug. 17, 2014). It is certainly the ugliest part of the city. I realize that the Hope Chapel owns the land and that Lazy Acres is coming to the corner. It would be nice if the strip mall on Prospect Avenue, at Artesia, could be leased to some cafés, with a bit of outdoor seating. Parking already exists behind them. Also, the huge parking lot, where Lazy Acres customers will park could be beautified by planting trees.
I am a senior citizen, still driving, and would characterize myself as a courteous, safe driver. What I observe in many drivers today appalls and frightens me.
- Driving through parking lots as if on a regular thoroughfare. There are people, including children, walking to and from their cars.
- Lack of courtesy to drivers backing out of angled or straight-in parking spaces. One can’t see oncoming vehicles until one has backed out a little, due to adjacent parked cars.
- Not giving sufficient warning prior to turning or changing lanes. The ones who really frost me are the ones who don’t signal, or move into a lane without leaving sufficient stopping distance for following vehicles.
- Taking a handicapped space to which one is not entitled, or failing to show a valid placard.
If you are one of these people, be observant, slow down, and be courteous. The few seconds you might save in driving as described above endangers you and other drivers.
Singing his praises
My son spent the last 3.5 years with Raymundo Vizcarra (“Redondo High band director Vizcarra champions careers of young musicians,” ER August 17, 2014). We’re about to move him into the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in NYC! Thanks Mr. V. for the passion you bring to the RUHS Music program. It makes a difference
by Judy Rae