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Which Way to Go on the Long Beach Freeway?

August 20, 1989

Kaplan's commentary refers to the Southern California Assn. of Governments (SCAG) showing that new freeways attract more traffic. It is more likely that building new shopping centers is the attraction for more traffic, but I haven't heard of any studies by SCAG that would support curtailing new shopping center construction.

To the contrary, SCAG promotes new development. In fact, SCAG member city Pasadena ". . . has long sought a developer to deliver . . . " Pasadena's Marketplace block, according to Morris Newman's article in the same Real Estate Section. Without roads to it, the Marketplace is doomed to failure.

As Kaplan recommends, we have been "finessing traffic through communities" for the last 15 years and congestion has gotten steadily worse.

In Orange County, for example, a Diamond Lane was added to the 55 Freeway as an incentive for commuters to form car pools. After two years of operation, a study by Genevieve Giuliano, associate professor of urban and regional planning at USC (commissioned in part by SCAG), showed that car pools had increased by a dismal 4%. Orange County's population has more than doubled while less than 5 miles of new freeways have been built.

Building more new shopping centers, office buildings and industrial centers without building new roads to get to them is akin to "terrorism." As Kaplan says, "You never win, while the situation tends to get worse."

WAYNE KING

Orange

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