One of the few things in Beverly Hills that nearly everyone, insider and outsider, can agree on is that Little Santa Monica Boulevard is a cute and fun name for a street. That’s why we all call it that (even though the real name for the little street running parallel to SMB through Bev Hills is South Santa Monica Boulevard: not cute, not fun). But BH City Councilmember Nancy Krasne doesn’t tend to like things that everyone likes (ex.: the Purple Line subway extension), and has requested that the city look into changing LSMB’s name to Burton Way. Yesterday, the city council agreed to consider the matter on September 10. Krasne’s request is being made on behalf of a very persistent local named Fred Barman, who has apparently solved every other pressing issue on earth and has now dedicated at least part of his life to making street names lamer (Burton Way is named for Burton E. Green, “president of the Amalgamated Oil Company and the largest stockholder in the Rodeo Land and Water Company, which was the company responsible for creating Beverly Hills,” according to a staff report [pdf].)
Right now Burton Way starts at San Vicente on the eastern side of BH and turns into Little SMB as it moves into downtown, at North Rexford Drive. Barman writes in one of many, many letters to the city that “it does not make sense, and is demeaning, that the term ‘Little’ is used to describe one of our primary streets through the Golden Triangle. It was also an affront to Burton Green, the Founder of our City, that his name was removed.” THIS GUY. Barman’s most recent proposal would give the street dual signage (South SMB/Burton) from Rexford to Moreno Drive; the city would then phase out the South Santa Monica name over the next three years.
A councilmember proposed a Little SMB name change a few years back and in 2010 the city asked merchants along the street what they thought–87 percent opposed a change.
· Request of Council Member Krasne to Discuss Proposed Name Change for South Santa Monica Blvd. (pdf) [Beverly Hills]