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Life Near Freeways: The Din Is a Sin

January 04, 2003

"Freeway Extension Eases Gridlock -- for Now" (Dec. 29) focuses on the convenience of the new freeway segment and the number of speeders. As someone living in Claremont, and a quarter of a mile from the freeway, I can confirm its time-saving convenience, but I can also attest to the incredible noise coming from it.

Despite the years of promises from Caltrans, the volume of speeding vehicles and the steep, undulating construction of this highway, especially west of Towne Avenue, have together defeated the noise abatement measures. Many complaints have already been made that the noise levels exceed state standards. Efforts to reduce the speeding for obvious safety reasons could also be applied to reducing the disturbing noise levels.

I would urge Caltrans to reduce the posted speed limit at least on the segment between Baseline Road and Fruit Street, which would contribute in part to both the CHP's enforcement against speeders and to the urgent need to make this freeway less offensive and upsetting to the many residents along this new swath of highway.

Elliott R. Barkan

Claremont

*

It's 4 a.m. What on Earth is that avalanche of sudden crashing, smashing, pounding, slamming cacophony? Are we under attack? Who on Earth is wrenching us from our deep sleep with such a stark and violent assault on our senses? I cautiously open the bedroom window to see if I can localize the increasingly noxious aural abuse. I throw on my clothes, grab the flashlight and creep outside toward the escalating crescendo. I see my neighbor's lights on.

Oh, it's Caltrans.... It shows up in the dead of night to work on the nearby Hollywood Freeway with no public notice, no neighborly forewarning, no opportunity to arrange alternate lodging and no escape from the pummeling to our sleep-deprived senses. Caltrans -- imperious, protected, unassailable, unreachable and inescapable. It invades, destroys the sanctity of the neighborhood and laughs when the old fat man in the bathrobe stands alone in the middle of the night and begs it to be silent. It doesn't care. It's Caltrans.

Dave Rawson

Hollywood

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