The people who live in Venice near the RTD bus yard are rightfully upset with the noise and smog it generates. They have protested to the RTD and Pat Russell. The RTD's solution? Appropriate land in a different residential neighborhood and put the bus yard there!
Two of the RTD's "acceptable" relocation sites are in Santa Monica, one at Olympic and Stewart and the other at Olympic and Centinela. Despite the obvious unsuitability of these sites, and despite protests from local residents and the Santa Monica City Council, the RTD is going ahead with environmental impact reports on these two locations.
Concerned homeowners of Santa Monica believes that moving the bus yard to either of these sites would be a disaster to that neighborhood and a detriment to Santa Monica in general.
The area targeted in the Olympic corridor includes several hundred homeowners and mobile-home park residents who already have to bear the noise and pollution of the freeway running through their neighborhood. Freeway on- and off-ramps in that area are already clogged to capacity. To add 100 to 125 buses, with 80,000 gallons of diesel fuel on site, and 200 employees working a seven-day-a-week, 24-hour-a-day operation, would make an already unpleasant situation intolerable.
Santa Monica as a whole has done more than its share of providing transit facilities for the county. We provide a blue bus system and a general aviation airport as well as the freeway.
We already have one bus maintenance yard, which at least provides some jobs to local residents. The proposed additional yard would provide no jobs and, in fact, would significantly reduce city income by reducing tax funds from the appropriated land.
Adding a bus yard to the Olympic corridor also is in direct opposition to Santa Monica's General Plan, which calls for "garden-office" development in that area.
The political heat the RTD would get from Santa Monica residents if it goes ahead and relocates in our city would make any problems it is presently having with Venice residents pale in comparison. Concerned Homeowners of Santa Monica alone turned out over 2,000 people to protest the housing element three years ago; every neighborhood group in this very well organized city would turn out in force to oppose the bus yard.
After its experience in Venice, the RTD should realize that a residential neighborhood is never an appropriate site for a bus yard. The RTD should also see that Santa Monica and the Olympic corridor in particular can't support another bus yard. We urge people concerned about this possibility to write to: Nicholas Patsaouras, president, Southern California Rapid Transit District, 425 S. Main St., Los Angeles, 90013.
MICHAEL PERLMAN and LAWRENCE VREDEVOE
Co-chairmen of Concerned Homeowners of Santa Monica