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Long Beach Bike Station

November 19, 1996

I liked very much your story (Public Places, Nov. 5). It provides positive information on real alternatives to our current trend toward gridlock.

Some additional facts:

* Each employee parking space costs the average employer at least $125 per month to provide.

* Each additional parking space costs between $5,000 and $12,000 for a surface space and $10,000 to $25,000 per parking structure space, increasing the cost of development.

* Each residential parking space costs between $10,000 and $25,000 per space, increasing the cost of housing and mortgage payments.

By comparison, a bike rack costs between $25 and $150 per space (depending on how fancy you want it) and a bike locker costs between $150 and $300 per space. The cost of gasoline for the typical home to work trip costs about 4 cents per mile, the free parking subsidy to drive to work ranges between 12 cents and 36 cents per mile. Would we think about a public policy that gives away free gasoline?

We have a public policy that requires employers through zoning and parking requirements to give away three to nine times that amount every day. This makes publicly required parking (through local regulation and the tax code) the biggest single government mandated (privately paid) subsidies to the use of the automobile for commuting, dwarfing all subsidies to transit many times over.

BOB HUDDY

Senior transportation planner

Southern California Assn. of

Governments

*

I read with immense interest your article on MTA commuter bike stations in Long Beach, and couldn't help notice Jane Spiller's experience with the Metro Rail commuting-hour ban on bikes. So many other commuters like myself have found ourselves at odds with this law. It flies in the face of what makes sense for our city as a whole.

At a time when the MTA cannot get enough money to extend the line, they limit the choices for those like us who would like to combine commuting with exercise, not to mention help the environment. I know that there are many other commuters that feel the same as I. We don't want anything crazy, we just want to have more choices in commuting, and changing this law is practically costless.

CARLOS PEREZ

Via Internet

Editor's note: Perez has a Web page devoted to his feelings about the MTA's bike limits at:

http://www.pacificnet.net/~cperez/grrr.html

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