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Downtown Work Site a Driver's Nightmare

February 14, 1988

Apropos Sam Hall Kaplan's column (Jan. 31), how much time does he spend on the Harbor Freeway in the rush hours?

I spend about five hours a week negotiating just the short stretch between the 4th Street off-ramp and the Santa Monica Freeway entrance, in company with thousands of other harried souls working around Bunker Hill.

Downtown Los Angeles, boxed into a site unsuited as the center of anything, died the first time because of traffic.

Some of my colleagues have begun to look for jobs elsewhere. When I finish my present work, I have sworn never to make this commute again. Sometime soon, anyone who has a choice is going to refuse to work downtown. Metro Rail will not solve it, unless city employers plan to find their entire force from those who live along its short and as yet unknown route.

In other parts of the L. A. basin, people are wrecking their days with absurdly long journeys from affordable homes to jobs in high-rent enclaves, while developers and their clients leave human beings and the quality of life out of every equation.

The only thing that should be built west of the Harbor Freeway is residential housing--and not a few $2,000-a-month penthouses at that. The freeway systems around downtown are simply full up.

What is this edifice hubris, this vaulting ambition to throw up endless monuments to corporate success, against all reason, in an area which simply cannot support any more?


Santa Monica

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