Dear Santa Monica City Council Members-
Yesterday, I got a parking ticket outside my apartment.
Now, this happens on the occasional Tuesday or Wednesday when I forget to move my car for the street sweepers, but yesterday was Monday. The SMPD Interceptors usually stay away from my neighborhood on Mondays, so you can imagine my surprise and anger when I leaped in the car to go to the gym and saw that little white and sea green envelope stuck in my windshield wipers.
As I plucked it off, I noticed a new sign, one that, as far as I can tell, hadn’t been there until this weekend when I was in Oxnard for two days. It said this:
NO PARKING SCHOOL DAYS, MONDAY-FRIDAY, 7-9 AM AND 2-4 PM.
SCHOOL LOADING ZONE.
Now, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Lincoln Middle School since I moved here eleven years ago. I love the community orchestra that plays on Tuesday nights. I hate the morning drop-off traffic. I love that I can jog on the track in the evenings. I hate the way parking vanishes whenever there’s a school function.
This new signage knocks our relationship way into hate.
I’m mad at two groups, folks, and one of them is you. It’s not the ticket, but the lack of warning. Never in the past twelve months have I gotten a letter, a door-hanger or a phone call that had to do with this change in parking. Why is it whenever there’s something that has to do with the City’s long term planning, I’m inundated with mailers, but when something happens that affects the day-to-day living of me and my neighbors, I don’t hear a peep out of the City offices?
The other group, of course, is the parents of LMS students. I find it amusing that the City will undertake traffic calming measures to change people’s driving habits on Wilshire Boulevard or enact legislation to make Santa Monica more sustainable, but it won’t do a damn thing to encourage kids to walk, bike or take the Big Blue to school. More importantly, it won’t do anything to discourage parents from clogging up the intersections of 14th Street with California and Washington Avenues, intersections that already get plenty of traffic thanks to 14th Street’s reputation as the fast way to get across town.
There is, I think, a solution that will help maintain a balance between the parking needs of the neighborhood and the safety needs of the students and parents, and it is this: blow up the school. Just pack the fucker with dynamite and level the goddamn thing. Then pave over it, build a monument of a man with his head between his legs and his head up his ass, and we’ll always remember how you continue to screw up and make me resent ever voting for any of you.
Love and kisses,
[Note: no, that last paragraph won't be in the letter I send to the City Council. But, dude, it felt good to write.]