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Ban Big-Rig Trucks During Rush Hour

December 22, 1996

* "Look at the bright side," I joked to my passenger, "Nobody gets killed at 3 miles per hour." The problem with my joke is that, on stretches of Southern California freeways, including the Sepulveda Pass on the 405, it's almost too late to worry that we'll reach the point of no return. Soon, we won't be able to get there in the first place!

There are too many cars, buses and trucks on the road. That's a bland understatement. The San Diego Freeway has all but reached gridlock conditions during rush-hour commuting times. I drive 11 miles each way, from Van Nuys to West Los Angeles and back. My commute has gradually become a nightmarish 40-minute trip on a "good" day and well over an hour on many, especially mornings.

The main problem is big-rig trucks. They climb the Sepulveda Pass at agonizingly slow speeds, often blocking the right three lanes for miles behind as they "pass" one another. It is time to ban big-rigs during peak traffic hours, preferably from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., just as was done during the 1994 Olympics with great success and very little economic displacement for the truckers.

JOHN C. DETWILER

Van Nuys

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