After the developer of the Center West project bought the site of Ships coffee shop in Westwood, he had to battle with preservationists to tear it down, then had to "battle local homeowners." At last, he is going to be able to give Los Angeles another high-rise tower, a "cultural contribution to Westwood as well as a superior business address."
This tower is going to bring many more cars, right to the busiest intersection in Los Angeles. It is good to know that when the motorists get into the building though, it will be made very pleasant for them.
One of the reasons that auto dependence is a fact of Angeleno life is the common belief among some planners and others, that whatever exists is correct. These people and their developer employers live for the moment. They would be better regarded if they planned for the future. The future is in the direction of getting more trips in fewer vehicles: more ride-sharing, more transit, more walking and bicycle riding.
While Contini was making arrivals more pleasant for motorists, what was he doing for these other people who would prefer traveling in some way less harmful to the rest of society than one person per auto?
Other developers are more enlightened. Previous articles in The Times told about the efforts of Jerry Snyder to canvass personally the people in the neighborhood and win them over, rather than "battle local homeowners." Jerry Snyder also tries "to keep the number of available (parking) spaces to a minimum to promote ride-sharing, van pools and use of public transportation."
Woodhull is policy analysis manager for the Southern California Rapid Transit District.