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A Response to Galanter Critic Regarding LAX

March 22, 1992

In response to Larry Sullivan's attack on Councilwoman Ruth Galanter regarding Los Angeles International Airport (Letters, March 12), let's inject a little truth into the matter.

First, Ruth Galanter has been in office almost five years, during which only one project that could honestly be labeled a "mega-development" has been approved--Channel Gateway.

Significantly, that development is about 75% to 80% residential, rather than the regional shopping center proposed for the site and supported by Galanter's predecessor. Galanter has also caused the city to enter a lawsuit against the regional shopping center proposed by the Prudential Co. in Culver City, near Washington and Lincoln boulevards. Hardly a record of support for "mega-development."

Missed in all Sullivan's rhetoric is the current and future impact on the Westside by LAX--an impact made very clear in Galanter's interview.

Without one single inch of expansion, LAX is now responsible for 25% of the traffic on our major streets and contributes not a dime to in any way mitigate that traffic. LAX will not even allow municipal buses (RTD, Culver City or Santa Monica) to enter the airport! So we have to pay those taxi and shuttle companies $12 or more to get to LAX instead of 85 cents.

Despite the fact that there are more "near misses" in the airspace above LAX than almost any airport in the country, the plan is to increase that traffic by almost 50% (from 45 to 65 million annual passenger trips). LAX is already a disaster waiting to happen.

LAX is a virtual kingdom unto itself. It hides behind outdated contracts and old boy deals (see Times Editorial, March 8) to shield itself from contributing its fair share in solving the problems it creates. LAX is a big-time moneymaker earning more than $25 million last year alone while the city slips toward bankruptcy.

Clearly some kind of reform at LAX is needed in terms of safety and economics. Narrow-minded, uninformed cheap shots like Sullivan's are not a promising way to achieve those reforms.



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