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Rail as an Option for Transportation

May 01, 1988

Your editorial "Use of Transit Funds--Bad Public Policy" (April 17) is right on target. Diversion of funds from transit to freeways is not only a corruption of public intent, it is an incredibly shortsighted view of Orange County's future.

Members of the Orange County Board of Supervisors also sit on the boards of the Orange County Transportation Commission and the Orange County Transit District.

These same few men have recently voted to sell the old Pacific Electric Santa Ana Main Line right of way to developers for a pittance, $110,000 an acre. This is a critical strip of real estate. It gives Orange County the option of constructing a high-capacity transit system. It would cost 10 times as much to replace it, plus unnecessary disruption and a lot of political heat.

The congestion on the San Diego and Santa Ana freeways is a catastrophe for Orange County citizens. And it is going to get worse. If Orange County plans for development are allowed to proceed, there will be 50% more cars and trucks in Orange County by the year 2010. Widening the freeways is self-defeating, and it will cost $20,000 per household.

The only useful solution is the economic imperative--cancel the massive subsidies to the motorists and to the trucking industry. The freeways will not be widened. But Orange County will desperately need the Pacific Electric right of way.

STANLEY HART

Altadena

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