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Plan to Widen the 101 Roils the Community

May 11, 2003

Re "Hahn Supports 101 Widening Project," May 8: The 101 Freeway expansion idea needs to be killed right now. Traffic studies over the years have confirmed one certainty about road expansion to carry congested traffic: Expand the road and the traffic will expand and quickly clog the new expanded road, thus negating any benefit.

The only reason to expand the 101 is for fat-cat developers to get the government contracts to do the work. Leave the 101 congested and drivers will opt for other travel means, such as carpooling, mass transit and relocating to jobs that don't require them to drive that clogged highway. Not another dollar should go toward the construction of any new freeways in the L.A. area. Only road maintenance and real mass transit such as buses, monorail and light rail should see any funds or contracts.

Jeff Softley

West Hollywood

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Re "Wider Freeway Could Take 800 Homes," May 7: It seems that some opponents of the 101 Freeway expansion proposal are trying to turn the issue into the East Valley versus the West Valley -- with the West getting all the benefit. The last time I checked, the 101 Freeway flows in both directions. As any West Valley resident can tell you, the traffic caused by people who live in the East Valley and commute to jobs in the West is often worse than in the opposing direction.

Every time a proposal comes up to improve an intolerable traffic situation, a tiny but extremely vocal group of people who made the mistake of buying homes adjacent to a major freeway hold the rest of the city hostage.

Mitch Rosa

Woodland Hills

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The dispute over the widening of the 101 Freeway is a perfect example of what's wrong with the process of governing in Los Angeles. The proposal to destroy hundreds of homes and businesses, plus schools and churches, was made by transportation planners. Nowhere in the mix were the opinions of others considered: housing experts, educators, recreation leaders, law enforcement, the religious community and just plain city planners.

Decisions made that way are fodder for the NIMBYs and naysayers who are, often justifiably, concerned that their Eden will be destroyed. Opposing forces do battle, extremists on both sides confront each other and stalemate ensues, with hostile feelings making it impossible to find a solution.

We need a better way of solving our problems. Publicly announced proposals by single-interest constituencies only make governing more difficult.

Joy Picus

Woodland Hills

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I figured out why Caltrans is building those sound walls along the 101 Freeway in the Valley. It is to prevent motorists from hearing the screaming residents as they are dragged from their homes for the widening project.

James Perry Jaster

West Hills

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