News of the Expo Line reaching Santa Monica by 2014 has been music to most Westsider's ears. Well, count writer Peggy Clifford not among the elated. In a commentary in the Santa Monica Dispatch, Clifford blasts the coming design modifications that will coincide with Expo, including added park space, a remodel of the Civic Auditorium, pedestrian access routes between the Santa Monica Pier, the beach and the Civic Center, and possibly a freeway cap park. Basically, Clifford equates added pedestrian traffic to gridlock, saying "After all, nothing is more urban than gridlock." Some more quotes from Peggy: "Only City Hall people would see the prospect of a light rail station in the most congested area of the city as 'an exciting opportunity.' "The 'Station District' at Fourth and Colorado, will inject more pedestrians into the Downtown District, which is already choking on traffic of every sort." "City Hall estimates the current daily transient population at 300,000. Some of them will undoubtedly prefer light rail to buses and/or driving. Since this light rail line begins in downtown Los Angeles and travels west well south of the 10 freeway, riders are more apt to be workers than, say, Bloomingdale shoppers, and more apt to arrive in downtown Santa Monica at 8 a.m. than noon." Clifford also blasts the proposed 364-unit Village development on Ocean Avenue.
· City Solution Far Worse Than Problem [Santa Monica Dispatch]
· The Village at Santa Monica, Part II [Curbed LA]