Steve Smith's proposal to connect the shopping center to the surrounding neighborhood(s) was very interesting ("City Life: Malls take work, not magic," Sept. 14). It's the same reason to "complete the freeway" — i.e., reclaim the "old downtown" for pedestrian traffic.
Steve is right about the blighted "east side" of Newport Boulevard and we should take this seriously. Walk the boulevard from 19th St. to 17th St. and compare that with a walk in South Coast Plaza. Connecting the "Westside" of Costa Mesa with the mall shows he cares about the west side — and simply calls those who oppose the giant LED night lights "curmudgeons."
Why not complete the thought, Steve, and connect the entire "downtown" around Triangle Square to both sides of Costa Mesa?
I agree that the billboards are a way for the owner of the property to pay for a mortgage. He'll sell "screen time" to advertisers. His cash flow models have led him to believe that this is a moneymaker.