Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The days when we were just building sprawl forever, those days are over

It has been over three months since I've posted to this blog, but President Obama's remarks today have inspired me to get back in the game. Today, at a 'town hall' meeting in Fort Meyers, FL he said:

I’d like for us to invest in mass transit, because potentially that’s energy efficient. I think people are a lot more open now to thinking regionally. The days when we were just building sprawl forever, those days are over. I think that Republicans, Democrats, that that is not a smart way to design communities, so that we should be using this money to help spur this kind of innovative thinking when it comes to transportation, that’ll make a big difference.

Assuming that there is any money for any of this high speed rail, (and with Measure R some support for rail is assured) what does this mean for Santa Monica: the extension of Expo Line, the Subway to the Sea? How about a rail line down Lincoln to the LAX? One thing is certain, it must mean more density, not just for Santa Monica, but for all the mature communities of the Southland. For that to happen, we need to continue to think creatively at blended density solutions that are idiosyncratic, site specific, and pedestrian friendly. We need to continue to support a robust and finely grained mix of uses that support vibrant sub-neighborhoods, even blocks.

The current economic downturn may be a blessing in disguise for Santa Monica. It may allow for completion of the LUCE in a less frantic manner, so that when things heat back up, we are prepared for it.


Gary said...

I hope the words are followed with substantial actions. I'm also glad to see this blog hasn't fallen off the face of the earth. The more voices pushing for sustainable development the better.

Neal Payton said...

Thanks Gary. I took a break from writing a while to clear my head, but I'm easing back into it.

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