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Against Light Rail Down Ventura Freeway

July 22, 1988

Homeowners of Encino has thoroughly considered all light-rail routes under discussion. We prefer the San Fernando route. We cannot support the other proposed routes because of environmental problems that we believe cannot be mitigated. Our analysis shows that the San Fernando route is supported by the community and can be constructed to operate in an environmentally sound manner. It serves a rapidly growing region and one which is transit-dependent. It has potential for full utilization throughout the day and evening. Right-of-way is available, and virtually no residents will be impacted by noise, etc.

In particular, we cannot support the Ventura Freeway route. This route is opposed by the Planning Department because it does not connect city centers. It would increase air pollution and generate traffic jams near stations. It would require closing freeway lanes for prolonged periods, creating traffic jams of momentous proportions. The route does not address how commuters would get from the train stop to their final destination; it offers no space for park-and-ride lots, and is one of the costliest routes to build. Residents near the Ventura Freeway are already exposed to noise, air pollution and vibration, making this route even more undesirable.

A critical element in our decision is the fact that Metro Rail funding and routes are in a state of uncertainty. It would be unwise to recommend a route that is dependent on a Metro Rail connection. On the other hand, the San Fernando route is viable on its own. It can carry riders directly to downtown Los Angeles and as far as Long Beach using light-rail lines now under construction.

Transportation agencies must address other Valley transportation problems. We need major improvements in the Valley's bus system, including faster, cleaner, safer and more efficient service. Fares should be reduced to 50 cents. The Valley also needs major improvements in roadways, such as maximizing the flow and convenience of existing rights of way. Parking should be removed from congested streets, and some need to be widened. We must reduce gridlock and move Valley traffic with greater efficiency.

GERALD A. SILVER

Encino

Silver is the president of Homeowners of Encino.

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