Brenda Barnes12 months ago
I think Tumlin is probably right. I'm part of the choir too, although as a real estate litigation lawyer (now retired), I am extremely good at stopping urban development. The reason I feel it is good and moral to do so at this time is most people promoting it are like Tumlin--all theory, no facts--thinking it is enough to say density is good in Europe so it will be good here, and sprawl is bad, which is just a straw man, when in fact traffic is just ridiculous here in Santa Monica, where he was pushing the idea of more density. Residents will pass initiatives against development as they just did in Encinitas, or they will vote out the whole council or bankrupt the city with litigation before they will stand for that. Especially in well-educated cities like Santa Monica.
So what should be done instead is demonstrate with a successful model city how it actually works in the US with the infrastructure that is already here, which is based on the car. I think cities are doing it. Long Beach seems to be putting in a downtown transit center that is awesome and bike lanes separated from cars, so people can see biking is really practical and the downtown can liven up enough to make a lot of people want to live there. But you can''t just impose the idea on people and put in the density first before you've solved the problems. I think it is arrogant to call yourself a planner and expect people to take on faith what you say, no matter what it is. Solving planning problems is your job, not being a philosopher.