The managing director of a real estate company (who calls his own office building an "eyesore"!) is proposing big changes for downtown Santa Monica--most notably, the complete reconfiguration of the Fourth Street exit off the 10 Freeway. Scott Schonfield of Centennial Real Estate on Fifth Street already commissioned a study that found that rebuilding the exit so that it empties onto Olympic Drive instead of Fourth could remove a redundant traffic light by dumping cars out at the same place they enter the freeway. The new exit would reduce traffic on Fourth and Colorado, but might increase congestion at Fourth and Olympic Drive. Schonfield has presented his idea to the nonprofit Downtown Santa Monica Inc., whose members sounded intrigued, although some worried about pedestrians traversing a combined on-/off-ramp. Aside from the freeway suggestions--which would have to be approved by Caltrans and would cost millions of dollars--Schonfield said the whole area near the freeway, and the coming Expo Line, needs improvements and should be readied for new development. One member of DSM Inc. proposed a parking garage near the train station at Fourth and Colorado (how creative).
· Developers Reimagine How Drivers Enter Downtown [SMDP]