Posted March 2, 2016 by The Argonaut in Columns
Big Blue’s Arrival is Good for the Marina

Re:  “Big Blue Bus is Coming to the Marina,” News, Feb 18

The same Argonaut article that prompted Terry Ballentine to write his Feb. 25 letter of concern (Keep the Big Blue Bus off Ocean Avenue) motivates me to view the Big Blue Bus situation from a hopeful perspective.

Living near Ocean Avenue and Washington Boulevard, I fully understand his perspective. However, as a resident of the Marina City Club (for more than 24 years), the new Big Blue Bus stop is a leisurely six-minute walk from my unit’s front door.

On Feb. 21, the first day of the new route, I saw a Big Blue come onto Via Marina and decided to take a ride. Since I am a certified old guy, I had my TAP card in my pocket. I climbed on at the stop, and the friendly driver told me that this was her first time on the route. My round trip was from the marina to UCLA and back along Santa Monica Boulevard.

I am of the opinion that this new entry point into the Big Blue route system provides a frequent, reasonably priced and efficient way to travel from the marina without a car.

Edward Benes
Marina del Rey

New Big Blue Route is a Hazard in Venice

Re: “Keep the Big Blue Bus off Ocean Avenue,” Letters, Feb. 25

The Santa Monica Big Blue Bus has arrived without notice to our Venice community. The folks who travel on Ocean Avenue in Venice to get to and from their homes will be adversely affected by its presence.

Ocean Avenue is a narrow roadway — so narrow that there is parking on only one side of the street. It wasn’t designed to carry a heavy volume traffic. There are speed bumps, stop signs and recently it became a bikeway. During the long evening rush hour cars back up all the way from Venice Boulevard to Washington Boulevard.

Where Venice crosses Ocean the curbs are painted red. No parking has been allowed there in the past for safety reasons. Now we have that space
as a bus stop. How will cars manage a right turn onto Ocean if there is a bus sitting there? Will traffic, those turning cars, back up on Venice?

Just half a block down, Mildred Street intersects Ocean. Pedestrians have been injured there; there is no crosswalk. Cars turning left have problems there and there have been accidents.  Now we will have a bus stop to contend with as well, and that’s only on the southbound side. In the northbound direction cars will have difficulty turning from Mildred onto Ocean.

If this change in bus route is to enhance access to downtown Los Angeles, let it be known that Venice residents in this area already have access to downtown via the Metro line. If it is to reach downtown Santa Monica and the Expo line, a different solution needs to be found.

The placement of the Big  Blue Bus route on Ocean Avenue is a mistake.

Sandra Helman, Venice

Let’s Stop Saying ‘Affordable Housing’

Re: “Mike Bonin’s Big Idea: Acres of Prime Venice Real Estate Slated for Affordable Housing,” Cover Story, Jan.28

There has been an abundance of articles and letters in The Argonaut related to affordable housing, the lack of it and the construction of it. The latest relate to the MTA bus yard in Venice that L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin hopes to turn into an affordable housing project.

Let me break some news to you: Affordable housing does not exist on the Westside or in Venice. The latest local rental listings show studio apartments starting at $1,200 per month, and it goes up from there.

If you are looking for affordable housing, you need to start looking 10 miles away from the beach. The only way you are going to get affordable housing in Venice is if it is built and subsidized by the city — in simple terms, from you and me, the taxpayers.

So let’s stop using this term “affordable housing” around here and hide it away with the term “transit-orientated housing,” because guess what: when you are looking to build 516 apartments and include 1,200 parking spaces like Martin Cadillac is, it should be termed “Housing close to Metro labeled as transit-orientated development so that the developer can maximize the density and convince the city to allow them to build it.”

Steve Wallace
Mar Vista


Re: “In Praise of Bill Rosendahl,” Opinion, Feb. 25

Bill is a person whose genuine sincerity in life blossomed in office. He went to great strides to do the right thing, standing tall in the face of adversity. I am not speaking for myself when I say we all love Bill.

John Davis

Re: “Coastal Commission Churns Stormy Waters,” News, Feb. 18

Don’t ever underestimate the power and planning of developers. Ever!



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