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Folly

February 05, 1988

When (former County Supervisor) Baxter Ward and Mayor Tom Bradley were advocating a mass transit system in the '70s, they were on the cutting edge of progress. Today, as Ward recognizes, they are dinosaurs, squandering millions and billions in a stinking hole in the ground (Metro, Jan. 27).

The RTD tried to give away tokens and was turned down by persons owning cars. Even Ronald Reagan, conservative that he is, long ago recognized that Los Angeles has the most satisfactory mass transportation system in existence with freeways and each driver going wherever he wants any hour of the day or night, stopping whenever, wherever, going as fast or slow as laws allow but having the glorious freedom to decide. No bus or train system offers that. Metro Rail is a monumental mistake, compounding its nonsense daily, hourly, exacerbating gridlock by construction, etc.

If the Democratic presidential candidates are considered to be Happy, Doc, Grumpy, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Dopey, what of local politicos who want to build a subway in our Sun City, charge $2 for an hour ride from downtown to North Hollywood underground with 18 stops in 1999 when today a VW Rabbit can do it in minutes and cost pennies and carry a Christmas tree hanging out the window?

The brilliant historian Barbara Tuchman included Vietnam in her collection of monumental follies. The next mayor of Los Angeles if he or she continues to spend on Metro Rail will be called Folly, something less than a dwarf.

MARK NICHOLS

Beverly Hills

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