Another Perspective By Dan Pressburg, Long Beach 9th District Resident
The race is currently on for Long Beach to see who can stack the most people in a two inch square without infrastructure, parking, and water. Yes, high end housing has put more people on the street, and to dream Long Beach is different from Los Angeles and will lose its romance with the automobile and become enamored with bicycling is Einstein’s Theory of insanity being enacted on our streets.
Although it is sexy and cute to engage with those green balustrades, segregating bike lanes and often infuriating drivers, the idea that if we stack more housing and people into a 3X3 inch shrunk down cracker box of high dollar value will garner applause from the areas affected the most. Not!!! It is also my belief that the city is suffering from a disease of the mind called imaginistis when the decline in school populations are causing campus closures in Long Beach.
So, let’s suppose we go up as high as seven stories on Pacific Avenue in Wrigley or even maybe just 5 stories in Belmont Shore. We also put up those sexy bike lanes to slow the traffic to a crawl and maybe we will be able to jump on the running boards of the Big Red Bus to get us from Ocean and Second all the way to Toledo way… maybe in an hour? There is already no parking and limited spaces for buses, yet, if they build it Long Beach is saying they will come. Yes, economic sense or non-sense, and increasing rather than solving all the social ills of California is happening in mass in the areas that are striving for an identity for the future.
Add to that, we just had three years of a drought and are only a few months out of that mess. All this building is going to require exponentially more water of almost 30% by the square footage calculations, and there will also be a need for more parking even with those newly found pretend transportation corridors. Lets add to the fact that we have crumbling infrastructure already in most areas we plan to grow buildings and housing.
Long Beach has already joined the top 3% of cities in California with the highest sales tax. How will we spend “Measure A” dollars to rebuild streets capable of handling the “Build It” and they will come population.
Last but hardly least, how do we get the same number of police officers we actually had on the street not including those who may already be contracted out. Our total now is around 755 officers. That is less than the 850 officers we had back when Beverly O’neil was Mayor over 12 years ago. This was before our population is increased and will increase as they are planning to build that critical mass on the corridors. Let’s add that we have no additional downtown large fire engine to be restored, and we have a perfect storm for disaster.