Congratulations on your series examining traffic congestion in Southern California. These comprehensive articles will surely assist citizens and public officials in fashioning a workable approach to this serious problem.
My office has implemented one of the options discussed in the series--flex-time--with great success. Flexible work schedules not only help reduce traffic congestion at peak commuting hours, they also allow employees greater freedom to arrange their workday to accommodate outside needs.
Because high-rise construction impacts traffic, we filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Court of Appeal urging that municipalities be required to comply with environmental protection laws when issuing building permits for major construction. As noted by The Times, the court ruled that traffic mitigation measures must be considered before the construction of a 26-story tower in Westwood.
Growing congestion threatens the safety of drivers and pedestrians, worsens air quality, and wastes millions of gallons of gasoline and over half a million hours of the public's time every year. While there is no simple solution to this problem, one point is clear: only through a joint effort by public officials and private citizens can we accommodate growth without gridlock.
JOHN K. VAN de KAMP
State of California