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Making the Case for and Against CenterLine

LETTERS TO THE TIMES

June 01, 2003

I welcome The Times' call for "visionary leadership" from business executives and elected officials, especially on matters of transportation.

In Irvine, I think we're already demonstrating that kind of leadership. Four members of our City Council have enthusiastically endorsed Measure A, the pro-CenterLine initiative on Irvine's June 3 special election ballot Tuesday. If approved by the voters, Measure A will give the go-ahead to the first segment of the Orange County Transportation Authority's CenterLine light-rail system. This initial operating segment will run from UC Irvine and the Irvine Business Complex (where more than 80,000 people work), to John Wayne Airport, then to South Coast Plaza and along Bristol Street to the Civic Center and the Santa Ana Transportation Center.

If passed by the voters and built over the next five years, CenterLine will serve tens of thousands of commuters and residents, keeping added cars off our streets, reducing air pollution and safeguarding Orange County's quality of life. That's why the Irvine Chamber of Commerce recently endorsed a "yes" vote on Measure A too. These business leaders recognize that modern, quiet, pollution-free light rail is good for the environment, good for business and good for Orange County's future.

Larry Agran

Irvine mayor

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With help from Irvine residents, I funded two mailers to help counter misleading Measure A mailers that are funded (as official filings show) by outside special interests.

Let's get the facts straight: OCTA's own maps and documents show CenterLine extending through Irvine neighborhoods, low ridership for the Measure A route, no traffic benefits, and $1.4-billion taxpayer-funded construction costs plus multimillions in unfunded annual taxpayer subsidies.

The choice is clear. To stop this political boondoggle that doesn't help transit, vote "no" on Measure A and "yes" on Measure B.

Greg Smith

Irvine City Council member, 1993-2002

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