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Driven to distraction

August 20, 2007

Re "Signal fixes get the green light," Aug. 16

Jay Handal, chairman of the Greater West Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce board, says, "You can't take a third of the drivable lanes from people who are already stuck in traffic for 45 minutes. . . . Take a guy who earns a half-million dollars a year. He's going to drive to a parking lot and get on a bus? I don't think so."

That paragraph pretty much sums up the reason for traffic problems: A lot of commuters think that they're too (fill in the blank with the word of your choice) to ride a bus or a train. They need to get out of their cars if they really want the traffic jams to go away. Otherwise, let them pay the price in pollution, traffic jams and poor health, and keep their complaints to themselves.

P.J. Evans

Chatsworth

None of the proposals mentioned in your article will have much effect until the Department of Transportation and Caltrans learn to cooperate. Example: Caltrans proposes to close the Montana Avenue exit on the northbound 405, thereby dumping thousands of cars onto the Sunset Boulevard exit, which is already backlogged. Drivers headed to UCLA will add several miles to their commutes, causing more air pollution and gas consumption. Another proposal, to close one of the Sunset Boulevard entrances to the southbound 405 and force the eastbound Sunset traffic to turn left onto Church Lane to enter the southbound 405, would have rush-hour traffic, already monstrous, backed up to Bundy Drive. Evidently Caltrans has millions to spend on freeways, without any consideration of surface traffic.

As anyone who lives and drives on the Westside knows, the east-west traffic on Wilshire and Sunset boulevards is already on overload. Closing exits from and entrances onto the 405 is a recipe for disaster. Why can't these two agencies get together to consider a plan to mitigate all traffic, instead of defending their own turf? Citizens deserve better than this.

Patricia L. Moore

Los Angeles

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