Los Angeles Times
Letters to the Editor
Saturday - September 24, 2005
With the option to expand Westside freeways and surface
streets pretty much a thing of the past, the remaining options
to address congestion are to build mass transit or do nothing.
As to those "shortsighted politicians and NIMBY Westside
residents" referred to in your editorial, I'm sure
that for years they have weighed the question of what the
financial cost and impact of building mass transit would
Perhaps now the question should instead be: What is the
financial cost and impact of doing nothing? Doing nothing
is no longer a viable option.
KENNETH S. ALPERN
President, the Transit Coalition, L.A.
Twenty-three-mile-long tunnels through the mountains in
order to relieve traffic congestion at a cost of billions
you're kidding, right? If ever there was an idea
demonstrating the poverty of current thinking about our
automobile obsession, this is it. It's time to remove fantasy
from public policy debate about the design for our cities
in the 21st century the notion that we can continue
single-passenger, longdistance commutes from suburbs to
job sites in the coming decades with falling supplies and
rising prices for fossil fuels. Infrastructure that enables
this behavior is a recipe for disaster.
We need to pull the transportation problem back into the
mix of overall community design and start thinking seriously
about re-localization of our neighborhoods, with public
transportation as the connector.