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Westsiders Freaking That Public Transit Will Cause Traffic Jams

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The Expo Line extension to Santa Monica has ever been the source of ire with neighbors—who fought losing battles against transit-oriented mixed-users planned along the line, or who wanted the whole thing switched around (or dead). But let's not forget that there is also a contingent of Expo enemies who stubbornly refuse to acknowledge that the train might just help their Westside traffic woes. The Expo Line's first phase has been an enormous success in terms of ridership and studies have shown that people who live by the line drive less and walk more. And yet neighbors are still freaking out about the idea of building developments close to transit stations—a member of the Westwood Homeowners Association still asks in The Argonaut "Where are all those cars going to go?" (in this case, specifically in reference to the CasdenWestLA project). Updated 3/25: The president of the Westwood Homeowners Association writes in an email that "I can tell you with some authority that [the supposed member] Terri Tippit is not a member of the Westwood Homeowners Association. Further, she doesn't even live within the WHA boundaries."

The same homeowner expressed fears about preserving the "integrity" of single-family houses, a luxury which recent numbers show is growing more expensive and less accessible to huge swaths of the public.

In Santa Monica, the big and controversial Bergamot Transit Village mixed-use project has been criticized for including so many apartments and too much office space, but several officials say that it (and other mixed-use developments) will help reduce traffic by offering housing option to people who work in Santa Monica, who would otherwise have to commute by car. The Director of Planning in SaMo forecasts that, regardless of what happens with Bergamot or other SaMo developments, "traffic will likely get worse due to the city's popularity," so boy, it sure would be nice to have the option of taking the train, wouldn't it?
· For Westside residents, a train in vain? [The Argonaut]


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