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Westside Digest

Santa Monica : Study: Traffic Has Improved

September 16, 1993

Traffic is down in Santa Monica.

But it is still the one environmental condition expected to deteriorate over the coming years, according to a study approved Tuesday by the Santa Monica City Council.

The traffic report was part of a Master Environmental Assessment, which studies the condition of the city each year. The study is used to provide base-line data for environmental impact reports.

Traffic is down 10% to 20% due in part to the economy and in part to new counting methods. Ten intersections in the city operate at unacceptable levels during either morning or evening rush hour. Three more are unacceptably clogged during both peak traffic periods.

Last year, the study found that 52 intersections had unacceptably high levels in the morning or evening.

The three intersections clogged during morning and evening rush hour are: The California Incline at Palisades Beach Road; 23rd Street and Ocean Park Boulevard and the Cloverfield Boulevard off-ramp of the Santa Monica Freeway.

City Councilman Kelly Olsen cast the lone dissenting vote on the study, saying that he thought several intersections received much better grades than they deserved.

School Donor Gives $40,000

A graduate of Santa Monica High School who rose to become head of First Federal Bank of California has donated $40,000 to his alma mater to buy computers for every English, foreign-language and science classroom that does not have one.

William Mortensen, who has long supported the campus library that has been named in his honor, formally presented the check at a news conference at the high school Tuesday. At a time when school budgets are tight and computers are playing an increasingly important role in education, the gift was especially welcome at the school, which is in the midst of restructuring.

"The faculty, students and staff are grateful to Bill Mortensen for this generous gift that will make such a powerful impact on our educational program," Principal Sylvia Rousseau said. "He stands as a major catalyst in Samohi's effort to offer students the high-tech knowledge and experience they need to meet the technological demands of the 21st Century."

"As a successful businessman, Mr. Mortensen understands that an investment in the youth of today is the best means for guaranteeing a stable and bright future," she added. "His love for the students of Samohi has been evidenced by his continuing generosity to the school."

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