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Santa Monica Dirt on Distracted Driving

Posted by John Hathorn on May 5, 2017
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I am writing this today deeply disturbed and saddened by an incident that occurred last Sunday evening. A colleague of mine was walking in the crosswalk at 15th and Montana and was struck by a driver turning left. Today this friend is out of a coma but still recovering in the ICU. This could have easily been a fatality and we are praying for a full recovery.

Sadly, there have been an unprecedented number of pedestrians that have not survived being struck by cars in Santa Monica this year. There have already been five fatalities in 2017  and many other serious injuries as a result of driving mishaps.

According to the Santa Monica Daily Press, in the 2015 and 2016 there had been only one fatality.

From where I sit in my office at the corner of 14th and Montana, I personally witness at least one close call each week. Pedestrians, bicycle riders, skateboarders and drivers often seem to be rushing through stop signs and signal lights. Some drivers seem like they are racing pedestrians to turn or go straight rather than follow the law and wait until the crosswalk is clear. Sometimes it is difficult for drivers to know if a person, appearing to be waiting to cross the street, really intends to cross. Some, once the light is green, remain standing still. Are they looking at their phone? Waiting for their Uber? Reading a text? Or are they going to step off the curb and cross? My motto is “when in doubt, wait them out”. We that drive EV electric vehicles need to be the most cautious because often because our cars are so silent, pedestrians, some crossing illegally, don’t hear us; don’t look up or don’t look both ways and dangerous outcomes result. My car has a “polite horn” option designed to sound a chirp instead of a honk but the few times I’ve used it to try and check with a pedestrian as to whether they intend to cross or not, I’ve gotten the stink eye or worse. Seems like, all people hate to be honked at. Of course any sane driver knows that it is the driver’s responsibility give pedestrians the right-of-way but for various reasons pedestrians are being struck.

All the 2017 collisions were in different areas of Santa Monica and under different circumstances. City officials are trying different outreach programs to help campaign against the bad habits of drivers. Montana Avenue recently placed a hazard sign displaying “do your part, text later,” to help discourage distracted driving. Santa Monica, no doubt, has more traffic and more people than ever before and with summer around the corner, the congestion will only worsen during the next several months. Drivers have a lot to look out for on the road and not all crosswalks are very visible, many have blind spots. Ideally crosswalks on busier streets like Wilshire and Pico would benefit from having pedestrian lights. Cars will have to patiently wait while the lights are flashing and vice versa, pedestrians will have to patiently wait, until it is their turn to cross. I think the low energy street lights are far too dim and we have to go back to brighter white lighting. Saving money on energy is fine until it comes to public safety. The City Council has a meeting set for May 9th regarding these issues.


Five new listings have come to the market:

621 Marguerita Avenue – Fully priced at $12,495,000.  14,541 sqft lot and 6,500sqft of interior space. This Hamptons style home boasts 6 bedrooms, 8.5 bathrooms. In addition a detached guest house. The backyard includes a swimming pool, spa and steam room. Last sold April 30, 2013 for $8,600,000. Not bad if they get $12.5M – a 45% increase in 4 years.

1130 Georgina Avenue – Large lot approximately 12,383 sqft,  listed at $6,495,000.  Plans are included with the sale to build a traditional 3-story home. Last sold April 28, 2015 for $4,000,000.

415 23rd Street – Located in Gillette Regent Square, Traditional 3 bedroom and 3 bath home, listed at $3,795,000.  Nice private backyard with tall hedges and swimming pool. Last sold December 31, 1985 for $545,000.

628 20th Street – Also located in Gillette Regent Square, listed at $3,695,000.  Developer opportunity. Property has 5 bedrooms and 2.5 baths, also includes a swimming pool. Last sold August 5, 1992 for $1,065,000.

426 Mesa Road – We just listed this for only $1,440,000. Build your custom home here! Property has plans for a super-cool approximately 4,000 sqft contemporary home. The lot is a 52 ft wide, 5,063 sq ft lot. Santa Monica Canyon views.


Two homes went under contract last week:

444 25th Street– If you are disappointed you missed buying this property, call me! Brand new Traditional home with 5 bedrooms and 6.5 baths on an 8,701 sqft lot. Property has lots of upgrades including a pool and spa. Listed for $6,495,000. Last sold January 12, 2016 for $3,500,000.

235 15th Street – Listed at $3,295,000. Great builder opportunity, traditional 2 bedroom and 1.75 bath home with a detached studio.  Last sold June 27, 2003 for $1,275,000.


One closed sale to report:

401 Ocean Avenue– 7 bedrooms and 5.5 baths, Sold for $9,000,000. The Henry Weyse/Charles Morris House built in 1910 by Robert D. Farquhar located on the corner of coveted Georgina and Ocean Avenue, approx. half an acre. Property is deemed a historic landmark.


Call me for a couple of upcoming attractions that are not yet listed in the MLS, priced from $1.9 million to $16 million.  And….here are a few that we have listed in the MLS:

920 Alta Avenue – 6 bedrooms and 6.5 baths $6,395,000

323 Adelaide Drive – 4 bedrooms and 6 baths $6,195,000

426 Mesa Road – Vacant Land, $1,440,000

1238 12th Street #4 – 2 bedrooms and 2.5 baths $899,000

435 Arnaz Drive #101 – 2 bedrooms and 2.5 baths $877,000

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