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Freeway Jam

November 27, 1994

Jonathan Gold's observations about the controversial Long Beach Freeway extension ("A Cut Below," Three on the Town, Oct. 9) were refreshingly sensitive. South Pasadena is one of the rare towns in rootless Southern California where people live in the houses their grandparents built. It should be cherished and studied, not sacrificed on the altar of the automobile.

Many of the pro-freeway voices are simply advocating growth for growth's sake. The Antelope Valley and Riverside freeways induced people to take on long commutes, increasing congestion on old and new freeways alike. Greedy developers and power-hungry local politicians, anticipating completion of our freeway system, have already mapped out new tracts in Kern County.

Yes, we South Pasadenans will chain ourselves to the bulldozers. We will not let Caltrans carve a concrete scar across the middle of our beloved, historic community--just so somebody who works in Long Beach can live in Bakersfield.

Gene Fellner

South Pasadena

*

I was on Gold's side of urban renewal at the expense of distinctive culture--until he mentioned the Century Freeway.

I am one of the many people now benefiting from that freeway. Following the civil unrest of 1992, several of us entrepreneurs on the Westside became committed to improving the conditions of South-Central L.A. residents, and we have spent many hours traveling to Watts, Compton, Lynwood and other communities to implement a self-empowerment program. The creation of the Century Freeway reduced our travel time significantly.

When I read Gold's conclusion that the major attribute of the Century Freeway was to shave "only five or 10 minutes off a trip to the airport from Downtown," it became obvious that he is not aware of the hundreds of people who have shaved hours off their commute to assist a community at risk.

Darcelle Dixon-Hunt

Ladera Heights

*

Imagine, for a moment, exiting the northbound San Diego Freeway at Venice Boulevard, taking some less-than-direct surface streets, and then getting back on the freeway at Sunset Boulevard. Sound silly? That's the way Los Angeles might look if the opponents of the Long Beach freeway completion have their way. The loss of a number of old homes is certainly tragic, but the greater good for thousands of residents has to take precedence.

Bruce A. Fisher

Moorpark

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