Keep the Big Blue Bus off Ocean Avenue

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

It is inconceivable that there are plans to have a Big Blue Bus route through residential Ocean Avenue between Venice and Washington boulevards. Traffic on Ocean is already bumper-to-bumper during morning and afternoon rush hour as well as on weekends. Also, there are speed bumps, driveways and the street is very narrow.

The streets that parallel Ocean have seen increased traffic due to drivers avoiding the gridlock on Ocean. The mobile app Waze directs traffic around Ocean as well. Northbound Ocean Avenue at Venice Boulevard has been reduced to one lane in each direction, causing gridlock at Mildred Avenue and on all the side streets off Ocean.

I have lived on Ocean Avenue for more than 35 years. In that time I’ve seen it change from a peaceful residential street to a major thoroughfare with traffic speeding out of the marina, crossing Washington Boulevard at over more than 50 miles per hour, as well as drivers traveling south on Ocean speeding up to make the signal at Washington.

I park my car on Ocean, and my vehicle was hit five times last year and already once this year. All but once it was a hit and run, and only because one car was badly damaged and disabled. Every car I have owned has been hit parked on Ocean.

The pollution we already experience on Ocean is unbearable. I have to wash off my porch and railings to clean off the dust and exhaust fumes, not to mention the toxic chemicals we are breathing just a few feet away.

Pacific Avenue and Abbot Kinney Boulevard are much wider streets and should be the alternatives to using Ocean Avenue as a bus route.

Terry Ballentine

Chamber Music Draws Crowds at Marina City Club

A series of chamber music concerts that culminated with a performance of two major piano quintets in early February has turned the tower complex of the Marina City Club into a beachside music center.

The five musicians who played the Schumann and Elgar quintets at the club on Feb. 2 were pianist Warrant Peterson and violinist Geoffrey Maingart, both residents of the club, and Los Angeles Philharmonic members violinist Guido Lamell, viola player Dale Hikawa and cellist Tao Ni.

The concert was organized by the Marina City Club Social Committee, which has sponsored a series of chamber music events over recent years.

The February event took place before a packed crowd of nearly 200 people, both club members and residents from neighboring districts.

An urgent appeal for a suitable grand piano (the club’s own instrument is an old-fashioned bar piano) brought an offer of a Hamburg Steinway from a local arts patron, and the committee is casting around for a permanent gift of a grand piano.

The three L.A. Philharmonic players take off in March for a tour of key European cities as part of a Philharmonic tour.

Peterson, one of the youngest students ever to be admitted to the Juilliard School of Music (he was barely ten at the time), suffers from a severe eyesight degenerative disease which fortunately does not impair his musical abilities.

Anyone interested in being notified of future concerts should e-mail the pianist at to get on the notification list.

Bruce Russell
Marina del Rey

A Marina-to-PdR Ferry Makes Sense

Is it possible one of your readers remembers the proposed ferry for bicyclists and pedestrians from Playa del Rey to the marina?

The simple ferry across the main channel was to run from the Pacific Avenue Bridge to the marina. It was designed to eliminate the indirect route now necessary to get back to the beach.

This was 25 years ago, but with such tremendous growth it makes good sense today!

Ken George
Playa del Rey

Attention to Parks is a Farce

Re: “More Walking Trails, Anyone?” News, Feb. 11

The county is asking residents what public parks improvements they’d like to see in Marina del Rey.

What irony! Why? Because Marina del Rey was created by the federal government for the recreation of all of the people of Los Angeles, not just its boaters.

Instead, today we have building project after building project along the shoreline to bankroll the county’s projects elsewhere. The latest outrage is a 288-room hotel project in a 100% residential area along Via Marina: 700 homes, hundreds of condominiums and hundreds of high-rent apartments. Instead of recreation, these residents will contend with constant traffic.

Let the county recall that our 1996 Local Coastal Plan provided funds from lucky developers for a recreational park at the corner of Marquesas Way and Via Marina with a view of the water, perfect for senior adults and young adults. This parcel, FF, was given to the developer of the new Neptune buildings in exchange for a teeny, tiny walk-through wetland park at the other end of the 288 room hotel. Enough deals! We the people own Marina del Rey, and we deserve more than trails!

“County Asks…”? What a farce. We have told them over and over and over and over at more meetings than I can count.

Lynne Shapiro
Marina del Rey