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Other Solutions to Parking in Downtown Santa Monica

Printed in the Santa Monica Daily Press March 27th.

It is definitely time to rethink how we approach the transport issues for our downtown area.  The price of gasoline continues to change rapidly ad there are strong indications this will continue.  Why else would a conservative oilman president be talking about our oil addiction as a threat to our economy and our national security? 

Relieving parking demands only makes sense when we also relieve the congestion that goes with it.  That means getting more people to their desired destination without using cars.  We would be better served to spend the cities resources to favor people using smaller vehicles like bicycles, motor scooters and mobility scooters. Locals can use these to get to downtown without having to use their cars.  These vehicles require from one-tenth to one-fourth the parking resources and use less imported oil. 

I drive an electric motor scooter and never have problems parking and it is usually less than a half a block from my destination.  Not only that but the roads are never so congested that I cannot move easily and quickly around town. 

In addition we can improve public transport so that the people who work in downtown can get there quickly and easily without needing a car.  As a local businessperson who has to keep workers on the job from up to thirty miles away I see how difficult that is becoming.  Entry-level workers are hard pressed to afford the fuel for their commute and they certainly cannot afford to move to this part of town.  That problem will only get more pronounced as we compete for limited oil supplies with countries like India and China. 

There is a group of people in town that is working through the Sustainable Transport Club to make these kinds of solutions a reality.  It will take lots of us to get this new approach to work so feel free to contact us at or ride your bicycle down to see us at the Earth day event in downtown on April 15th.

In the mean time it is good to know that Council Member McKeown and the Daily Press are bringing this issue out for debate.  We can no longer accept gasoline-powered cars as the only or even the best transport solution. 

Sincerely Yours

Russell Sydney


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You may want to learn what else you can do and how the community based organizing works. One of the people involved in this effort helped to start the farmers' markets in California including one of the first twenty Farmers' markets in the state. The History of the Farmers' Market Movement in California is a book that will show you how community based organizing can help change our way of life.   Click here to find to find out more.

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