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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Hauling Freight Along Overcrowded Freeways

October 15, 2003

Re "Freeway Tragedy Is No Surprise, Experts Say," Oct. 11: The recent tragedy on the 710 Freeway underscores the validity of the arguments against extending the 710 through Alhambra, South Pasadena and Pasadena, connecting it to the 210 Freeway. Any plan that encourages or enhances additional traffic of tractor-trailers on the 710 will serve only to increase the likelihood of such accidents in other congested areas along the extended route. Presently, the transition of the 210 in west Pasadena at the 134 Freeway is a dangerous enough proposition at almost any time of day. The influx of trucks that would result from the 710 extension would make it significantly more so.

Philip V. Mann

Pasadena

*

The Times had excellent articles on these problems last May. It is a serious omission in this article to not mention the Alameda Corridor and its relationship to the problem. A 24-hour port would help, but truckers will always prefer the freeway direct to Colton over transfer to train at Union Station. The Alameda Corridor was a half measure that we are paying for now. Improving the freeway should come after rail improvements are made to the Colton and San Bernardino distribution centers. Giving trucks an efficient alternative to freeways should be the goal.

George McGinnis

Glendale

*

I live one block from the 710, along the corridor of truck traffic death. Like most commuters, I cannot understand why large trucks have to drive on urban freeways during congested rush-hour traffic. The solution to this problem of truck overcrowding and accidents is simple. During the 1984 Olympics, large trucks were prohibited from driving on the freeways during rush hours. Limit truck traffic on the 710 to 8 p.m. until 6 a.m.

Ed Forde

Commerce

*

I'd like to make a suggestion: Make the entire 710 Freeway a truck-only route. Let the truckers have it 100%. This would give breathing room to the expected increase in freight traffic in the years ahead, cost very little to implement (replacing signs) and would actually cause less pollution because the trucks are moving faster. A three-ton car competing with thousands of 30-ton trucks is insane. If those in the Mercedes didn't survive, we need to try something new.

Ken Kobylenski

Santa Barbara

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