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Transportation Agency Has Failed the Public

August 01, 1993

* The Los Angeles Department of Transportation has failed us again, ("Lack of Use Dooms Lane for Valley Car-Poolers", July 15).

During the Los Angeles mayoral campaign, I proposed the elimination of the department.

The proposal was subsequently endorsed by Mayor Richard Riordan, who promised that he would implement it expeditiously.

My proposal was not a capricious statement or mere political rhetoric. It was based on my experience and knowledge of the department gained through 12 years as a member of the Rapid Transit District board and the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission.

When the idea of a reversible lane along Sepulveda Boulevard was proposed by the Valley Summit Transportation Group, it was immediately received with negative comments--such as "No way," "It will not work" and "We don't have the money"--by the department.

After two years of lobbying, the department finally agreed to a pilot project, allowing only car pools and buses (there is no bus service along Sepulveda Boulevard) to use the reversible lane at peak hours, because the funding would come from Proposition A sources.

Proposition A limits the projects for which this money can be used. Of course, the money can be used for fancy dinners and around-the-world junkets, but not to mitigate traffic!

The department has ignored the fact that Proposition C money can fund a reversible lane to serve all drivers, including single-passenger vehicles, such as the successful reversible lane along Highland Avenue in Hollywood. Now they are telling us they will discontinue the service because of lack of ridership and the high cost.

Of course ridership is low. They have placed limitations on its use. As for the cost, can you imagine spending $267,700 annually for two employees with a truck placing and removing cones for a couple of hours in the morning and evening, five days a week? (Privatization sounds very good.)

But that's City Hall.

Mayor Riordan promised to "reinvent" City Hall.

We're anxiously waiting.

He can start by fulfilling his campaign promise and eliminating the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.

NICK PATSAOURAS

Tarzana

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