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Santa Ana Traffic Plan and the Plight of the Commuter : Freeway Congestion and Residents' Standard of Living

October 27, 1985

If our house leaks during a rainstorm, we minimize the damage by placing containers to catch the dripping water. However, at the earliest opportunity we fix the roof so that the source of damage to our home is removed.

Your article about freeway congestion (Oct. 14) prompted this analogy. Orange County has--or had--a unique beauty which is fast disappearing. Rather than a pleasant commute to work, we have a frustrating, congested and increasingly dangerous one. Isn't building more freeway lanes, more water canals, more schools, more jails, more power plants or just more government the same as placing containers under the leaks?

What is the analogy to fixing the roof? It is controlling or stopping the growth in Orange County until a plan can be devised that will preserve its unique character.

What is the benefit of all this building for the residents of Orange County? Most of the rewards appear to accumulate in the bank accounts of the politically adept while the average citizen is rewarded with second-rate living conditions. This scenario has been repeated many times in the post-World War II era. Can't we learn from history and do something about it?

MAX R. SCHREIBER

Laguna Niguel

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