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Developers' Fees

June 20, 1991

In his report on the Playa Vista project, "Playa Vista Developer May Escape Traffic Fees" (Times, May 23), reporter James Rainey paints a picture of Councilwoman Galanter helping a major developer cut his costs and saddle the surrounding area with the development's traffic impacts.

Neither the reporter nor most other folks seem to question the wisdom of the trip fees the developers are asked to pay. The article says the trip fees go into a transit fund--a misleading way to describe a fund used to develop roads. The funds make possible the continuing program to widen streets and narrow sidewalks, which does nothing more than encourage further auto traffic and discourage pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders.

Playa Vista developer Maguire Thomas' plans for reducing traffic impacts by internalizing travel and reducing the number of trips should be encouraged. Will they work? They should be made to work. We already know that more road building only makes things worse. The councilwoman has demonstrated her understanding that more of the same dubious medicine is only going to kill the patient.

Perhaps the next article in this series should examine the trip fee itself. People might be surprised to learn how it will be used to further deteriorate their environment.

JOEL WOODHULL

Los Angeles

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