No Increased Density

Chris Dierl

Thomas Sowell said, “Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good. In area after area – crime, education, housing, race relations – the situation has gotten worse after the bright new theories were put into operation. The amazing thing is that this history of failure and disaster has neither discouraged the social engineers nor discredited them.” The leadership of the City of Long Beach is acting as if they are blissfully unaware of this history of failure and disaster. They are enthusiastically jumping on the bandwagon of policies that may sound good on the surface, but will ultimately lead to naught but added burdens, discomfort and expense for the citizens they are supposed to be representing.

Anti-personal-vehicle policies, including diminishment and destruction of traffic lanes in favor of bike lanes, “road diets,” “traffic calming,” allowing construction without ample on-site parking, allowing narrower parking spaces, boondoggles involving “bollards” with associated expensive new narrow street sweepers and failure to adequately maintain the streets themselves, all designed to encourage us out of our single family homes and into multi-story apartments from which we are supposed to either walk or take mass transit to work, utterly fail to acknowledge the reality that all of Southern California grew around the personal car and it’s way too late to change that.

Traffic needs to be provided with additional, well-maintained lanes, not fewer and development must be required to include ample on-site parking, with no exceptions, “transit adjacent” or not. Even those who use transit also need a car to get to the many places in Southern California that are not “transit adjacent.” They need to park somewhere and making that more difficult will not change reality.

There is also the misguided notion that ruining “nice”neighborhoods by allowing “increased density” is somehow justifiable, in the hope that the result will be a path for lower-income individuals into “better” neighborhoods. The glaring error in this plan is that the increased density and influx of non-homeowners are completely contrary to what makes neighborhoods “nice” in the first place.

Abraham Lincoln said, ”Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.” Dear council members, mayor and city staff, kindly refrain from “pulling down” my house.

No … to increased density!


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