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Extend Wilshire Red Line

October 02, 2002

Kudos to the MTA board for keeping the hope of building a subway down Wilshire Boulevard alive ("MTA Revives Subway Proposal," Sept. 27). This Red Line extension will be necessary to provide fast access to jobs, schools and points of interest, as the popular yet overcrowded Metro Rapid buses on Wilshire Boulevard show.

Wilshire Boulevard has the density, destinations, traffic and large bus patronage to warrant a hefty investment. Granted, there's still no local money for a subway, and there might not be any for years to come, yet the study in question will determine if new technology can help build this important subway in the future.

Numan B. Parada

Tujunga

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Your article discussed the on-again, off-again extension of the Wilshire subway. Immediately, all of the old arguments will be brought forth on why it shouldn't be done. Citizens should consider the following points: The subway in London was built around 1864 and it is still going strong. When you amortize the costs of the L.A. subway over 200 years, the cost per mile takes on a better perspective. Subways are not built for today's users but for the users 20-plus years from now, when traffic will make today's gridlock look like the good old days. Wilshire Boulevard has the heaviest density of residences and jobs in the city, and the subway should go right to the ocean.

San Francisco, with fewer people, has the most amazing BART system, and it continues to grow. Los Angeles needs a mixed bag of transportation modes; buses are critical, but so are subways.

Harold L. Katz

Los Angeles

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The MTA's 7-4 vote to support subway construction has opened a Pandora's box. This reckless about-face of the MTA's "no more subways" policy ignores the vote of the people and the catastrophic problems with the gold-plated, $5-billion, 17-mile subway. Washington needs to know that Los Angeles County supports cost-effective, above-ground rail projects to meet the transit needs of our 88 cities and 134 incorporated communities. It is time for the MTA to learn from history and not repeat the costly failures of the past.

Michael D. Antonovich

L.A. County Supervisor

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