Thursday, August 31, 2006

More Naying Than A Kentucky Paddock On Derby Day

The Port of Los Angeles and CalTrans are going to spend a couple of million dollars to plan ahead for the steady growth of traffic they fear will gridlock San Pedro's iconic Vincent Thomas Bridge by 2020 or sooner. One possibility: construct a new bridge to accomodate the cars and trucks that move between Terminal Island and San Pedro.

Cue stock pushback in 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . .

"It would clutter the channel even more than it is now," said Bonnie Christensen of San Pedro. "Where are they going to build it? I don't think they could do it. There are so many cranes and docks it would be difficult. ... It couldn't be beautiful."
Oh couldn't it?

The many cranes already dotting the port skyline (note the word "port") have been the target of much unrealistic, economically-blind, denialist, selfish bitching and moaning over the past few years in San Pedro as a few residents took to calling them as blighting the landscape.

I don't know if these people grew up in San Pedro or moved here more recently because they've been priced out of the bit of coastline they feel more visually pleasing (one wonders why they don't just move to the otherside of town, that's the beauty of living on a peninsula, you know, three views from which to choose). Having grown up in San Pedro, seeing the port every single day of my life, and never losing my sense of wonder at the modern marvels lifting and conveying all those containers, I will never, ever understand the ire expressed toward the lifeblood of not only the San Pedro economy, but the nation's as well.

Moving from blight to pollution, Ms. Christensen then cites air quality as a reason to slow growth. "As far as I'm concerned, we have enough business in the port," she is quoted as saying.


I love my cranes. I love my bridge (and its lights, of course). I love big ships. I love longshore workers (go union). I love the San Pedran culture which is inextricably linked to the port and everything that goes on there. It's not likely going anywhere - I don't actually fear any political power possessed by someone like Ms. Christensen - but it does make me sad that she gets any ink at all. On the matter.

What do people think will happen? I know Field of Dreams was a popular movie, but trust me, even if you don't build it, they're still coming. The cars, the trucks, the people. If you want that to slow down, the port isn't the place to start. Call the tourism board, the weathermen, and the Tournament of Roses people and ask them to stop promoting our state. Then call the President and ask him to step in and end all trade agreements within the Pacific Rim region. Then get ready to start paying 6 or 7 times more for nearly everything you could possibly purchase.

If you're comfortable with that, figure out how comfortable you are helping others foot the higher bills. Then we'll talk.


jvgordon said...

This is a little off topic, but since college I have always had some excitement in seeing ports, with their cranes and shipping containers, etc. When you stop to think about it, the modern containerized shipping economy is quite similar to the Internet, and like the Internet, it is one of the great wonders and backbones of our contemporary existence. It's unfortunate that it is even harder to see, so it recedes from the view of most people, and I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of people weren't even really aware it existed. But if I were going to nominate three innovations of the last fifty years that most changed the world, they would be the PC, the Internet, and containerized shipping.

doughnut70 said...

And I always thought that the main reason people came to San Pedro was to hang out at Papadakis restaurant and oogle the dancing girls. That or look at all of the places that were used in the filming of "Chinatown". You have broadened my view of the area. JK!