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Is It Too Late to Slow Growth?

October 25, 1987

I recently read an article in the New York Times by Robert Reinhold regarding growth in Los Angeles, and this is my feeling on the subject:

Coughing, squinting, burning eyes, pounding heart, throbbing head, cursing and swearing, anxiety attacks: These are becoming the daily symptoms of the population who wish to live and die (probably sooner than later) in L. A. The living conditions in L. A. are becoming horrendous. It is a major decision to drive anywhere unless taking provisions for a camp-out in the left-turn lane and carrying volumes of reading material for waiting at red lights or standing in a line that is apt to form anywhere.

The term "slow-growth" unfortunately has taken too long to catch on. We are already beyond the help stage and verging on a crisis. It is amazing to me how projects progress beyond the blueprint stage. We encourage an increase in buildings, shopping centers and those hundreds of mini-markets on every other corner.

Charles Moore, a leading architect who once claimed Los Angeles his home and now resides in Houston, was recently quoted in the New York Times, "I cannot believe shutting off growth will do anything more than make it (L. A.) age prematurely." Well Mr. Moore, it seems to me that aging gracefully is a natural process we have denied to the once young and beautiful Los Angeles. We have accelerated the aging process and pushed her into a bulging old lady choking with smog and infested with toxic waste, polluted water and people increasingly disliking each other for taking up each other's space. Slow-growth proponents have my vote. My question is, who are you and where were you 20 years ago?

JUDY MERCER

Los Angeles

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