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The Light-Rail Fray

October 08, 1988

Irecently read that the county Transportation Commission has had no clear indication that the public opposes any elevated rail system and is clearly in favor of an extension of the Metro Rail subway.

If this message has not yet become evident, the commission is not listening or paying attention to the major opposition that has been displayed since the proposals have been made public.

Demands have been made by government officials to clean up the pollution in Los Angeles and eliminate any future elements that would cause pollution to rise. This should be reason enough to bury any future plans to attempt to double-deck the Ventura Freeway with light rail in mind, and to consider only the extension of Metro Rail.

For once, why can't we plan and execute a project properly with the future in mind? A prudent approach, even if it takes a little longer to complete, is far better than seeking less costly alternatives that ultimately never end up costing what was originally anticipated. In many instances, these alternatives become as expensive as the proposal that should have been implemented in the first place, and end up being obsolete shortly after completion, returning us to square one at twice the cost.

We continue to hear the argument of cost, but all the millions of wasted dollars being spent on studies and reports, routes and proposals that the residents and businesses strongly oppose could be channeled into Metro Rail costs.

It's time to give us a break! There is a viable alternative to disrupting residential neighborhoods, uprooting homes and businesses against their will, and doubling or tripling pollution in areas that are already at peak levels.

Why can't officials, both elected and appointed, finally show some genuine compassion to the voters who put them in office? Allow us to live our lives peacefully without the constant threat of disruption and financial ruin, especially those of us whose property would become worthless and unbearable to live in.

The self-serving Warner Center business leaders are quick to encourage light rail because Metro Rail might take a little longer to reach their area. They are only interested in quick financial gain and really couldn't care less about the affected homeowners and businesses who are living in terror of being physically and financially destroyed by any elevated rail proposals and double-decking.

Since we do have a choice to accomplish our goal of transit and execute it correctly in an environmentally acceptable underground extension of Metro Rail, this should be the last and only consideration for the City Council to agree upon and approve.

The lawsuits that would have to be defended by the state would delay any above-ground proposals for many more years than it would take to complete a Metro Rail extension and could destroy any hope to successfully implement a transit line in this area.

This must be resolved to the satisfaction of the people who will be personally affected and not those who live in secure, quiet, undisturbed, plush neighborhoods and choose to play God with our lives and futures.

DIANE L. GLASSER

Sherman Oaks

Glasser is a member of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Assn.

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