An Open Letter to Interim City Manager Lane Dilg, Part 2

Dear Ms. Dilg,

Reducing community transmission of coronavirus is our urgent duty.

Spiking COVID-19 cases endanger our visitors, our workers and our residents. LA County guidelines call for either a six-foot separation between seated dinners and passing pedestrians or a six-foot tall cleanable barrier where the six-foot margin is unworkable. Not maintaining these mitigations multiplies deadly transmission probabilities.

Main Street’s new Al Fresco plan removes the valuable center of what could have been a wide-open piazza, with enough space to define socially-distanced seating areas with room for safe pedestrian traffic throughout. Room for traffic trumps room for safe separation in the plan we got.

A low cost remedy, except for the price various stakeholders would extract and the distasteful flavor of crow Al Fresco proponents would have to eat, would be to just remove the K-rails and mark out the table areas and six foot-limit lines with surveyor’s temporary spray paint. No need for street repainting closures nor another $190,000 to do the work.

Look at what the community would gain by reclaiming this Main Street public common from a transportation corridor to the piazza atmosphere Al Fresco proponents promised. Increasing business activity by increasing physical capacity with newly acquired space is the obvious solution. Administering that space in an intelligent manner will be much easier without the traffic corridor, so the customer experience will improve — and with it the business income and city taxes that the community relies upon.

My proposal is for city administrators to bite the bullet, take off the blinders, and observe how poorly the Main Street rescue plan is actually working out under today’s pandemic threat. When you notice the deadly hazards, be brave enough to say, “We screwed up! But it’s so important that we must prioritize fixing Al Fresco now.”

Notice how well the Second Street/Arizona farmers market works with no traffic.

Tim Tunks

Santa Monica