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How to Dispel Objections to Light Rail

July 09, 1988

James Quinn's report (June 24) on the San Fernando Valley Citizens' Panel on Transportation Solutions meeting the previous evening missed two key points.

First, many of us who spoke out in favor of the Burbank-Chandler route (also known as the Chandler-Victory route) did so proposing major mitigations which we hope would dispel objections to that route from community interest groups.

Specifically, I and several other panel members proposed such mitigations as:

--A grade-separated, automated system, built for the 21st Century, utilizing state-of-the-art technology to minimize noise and vibration (I would favor a magnetic levitation system to accomplish this purpose).

--Heavy landscaping to accomplish the effect of a greenbelt along the entire route.

--Elevating the system along the Victory/Topham residential corridor, with side walls high enough to further reduce noise and prevent visual intrusion.

--Either going underground (subway) or deep-trench and berm through the Chandler Boulevard residential corridor.

--Building pedestrian overpasses where streets are closed.

--Seeking alternatives that would preserve the Little League baseball fields at Winnetka Avenue and Victory Boulevard.

Secondly, several panelists who expressed interest in the north-south rail route paralleling San Fernando Road did so as a secondary route, as a complement to an east-west system, not an alternative to it. One panelist proposed, for example, that it might be an excellent commuter rail line, originating in Lancaster-Palmdale and terminating downtown in Union Station, similar to the Santa Barbara-San Diego commuter route that was inaugurated June 25. Such a route might be implemented immediately, since it would run on existing tracks with existing commuter rail cars.

RAYMOND L. EXTRACT

Woodland Hills

Extract is a member of the San Fernando Valley Citizens' Panel on Transportation Solutions

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