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Boulevard: Two Views on Roadway Expansion

February 09, 1995

In his article, "Superhighway Hits Road Bloc" (Jan. 26), Scott Shibuya Brown writes: "Though commuters would travel on five lanes through Westwood and Century City, the boulevard would again narrow into four lanes" at the San Diego Freeway and at the Beverly Hills city line.

The reality, however, is that only three lanes plus a turning lane exist just east of the freeway. West of the freeway a lane in each direction becomes a parking lane, leaving only two lanes for driving most of the day. The MTA has yet to explain how five lanes could shrivel to two without causing gridlock. Nor has it explained how traffic accidents could be avoided as drivers fight their way into the shrinking lanes.

The article also states that the MTA plans "expanding little Santa Monica Boulevard--which acts as a buffer against the traffic on its large namesake." Actually, the MTA plans to eliminate all of little Santa Monica Boulevard as a two-way street.

The end of little Santa Monica as a two-way street would create hazardous driving conditions since motorists would be required to make U-turns in order to enter or exit the highway. The MTA admits that it would have to add to the timing of the traffic signals in order to allow drivers to make U-turns. Thus, instead of moving faster, traffic would be forced to slow down.

The article fails to mention that Santa Monica Boulevard east and west of the proposed 2.2-mile, $69.1-million superhighway is considerably more congested than the area that would be widened. The MTA's proposal would pour more cars onto streets where a driver already is lucky to hit 10 miles an hour. RICHARD S. HARMETZ

Los Angeles

On Page 11 of Westside ("Superhighway Hits Road Bloc," Jan. 26) is a drawing of the proposed superhighway. The caption reads: ". . . the MTA's renovation/expansion project calls for 10 lanes of motor traffic, including bus lanes, a bicycle lane and sidewalks." The bicycle lane is shown proposed in the middle of this "superhighway"! Traffic would zoom by in both directions in close proximity to the cyclists. Furthermore, as shown, the cyclists would be riding in both directions on the narrow bike lane. Are the MTA's engineers sane?

DANA I. ALVI

Santa Monica

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