Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Sven Toorvald
Westside Academy 

Westside Ballet Complains of Traffic Lanes, Parking Given to Developers, Construction

Letter to the Editor from Westside Academy of Dance

 

August 3, 2017

Google Streetview

Google Streetview of the intersection of Olympic and Stewart. The Westside Academy is the "Westside School of Ballet."

Dear Council Members,

I spoke to all of you at a Council Meeting on August 23, 2016, asking for help to a specific problem for my business, inadvertently created

by the City of Santa Monica. I followed up the next day with an email to all of you and spoke and wrote to City staff before and after.

Our general manager has spoken to City Staff dozens of times and given you a petition of over 300 student signatures. After almost a year, I'm writing now to give you a status report -- You've done nothing! Absolutely nothing!!

Full disclosure -- I've copied the news organizations here in the hope they will relay this news to the public at large. At best, shaming you into action. At worst, informing the public of your lack job performance.

The problem was easily fixable for the simple fact that in the beginning it was fixed -- everything was fine. You approved five large construction projects on the same street at the same time. At first, you even cited workers parked on the street for they weren't allowed.

Then something changed. You gave one company, McCormick Construction the sidewalk, three lanes of traffic and over 80% of available street parking. THE RESULT WAS CATASTROPHIC FOR MY SCHOOL. We're a school who's been there for over 40 years and you even gave public accolades to our late founder. When asked if they could help, the developers responded, "We paid thirty thousand dollars for that street."

Without any parking, students stopped coming. To add insult to injury, you consequently approved three public work projects on the same street and intersecting streets and have now given the company CW Driver the other side of the street, shutting down the entire street completely. Century City just finished a 30+ story skyscraper using one lane, intermittently, for cement pours. Beverly Hills just finished the 10+ story Waldorf Astoria using one lane for the occasional cement pour. Yet the City of Santa Monica gave away three lanes of traffic and the sidewalk for a 4 story building.

We followed correct procedure, communication and protocol and you have DONE NOTHING, LITERALLY NOTHING. Which begs the question, what is it exactly that you do, if not this? Let's be brutally honest, approving budgets can be done at staff level, as can approving development projects. If you think putting Hulu bicycle stands on sidewalks and painting bike lanes green is the sum total of your job, then get out.

I can do that, and I'm an idiot. An idiot for thinking that City government would help resident businesses. You may have gotten enough votes to get elected, but you do not deserve to be in your job.

I sincerely apologize for my sarcasm and harsh opinions, but you can't even imagine the frustration of appealing to the people "in charge"

for help and they simply ignore and refuse to do anything.

Sven Toorvald

Westside Academy

Santa Monica

 

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