Re "Area Code Overlay Is Pushing Buttons," July 11
The Times really dialed a wrong number. Our previous efforts to defeat the overlay were not to protect our "vaunted" area code but to avoid dialing four extra digits each and every time we pick up a phone. It is totally untrue that residents objected to an area code split because of petty prestige issues.
At the time of the earlier, unsuccessful effort at an overlay, the phone companies stated that businesses opposed the extra expense of changed phone numbers. I was never asked how I felt about a new area code. (For the record: It's fine by me.)
We objected to the overlay for the same reasons I oppose it today -- it is an unwarranted hassle and an undue hardship on the young and elderly who have to memorize an extra four digits to dial in case of emergency.