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Rethinking how L.A. gets around

December 23, 2007

Fascinating! David Lazarus tries to make a business case for multibillion-dollar transit systems ("Southland transit is in need of big ideas," Consumer Confidential, Dec. 9) while Times columnist Steve Lopez is pilloried for even suggesting congestion pricing ("Being right takes its toll," Points West, Dec. 6) and political science teacher Robert Cruickshank wonders why no one will talk about taxes ("Why won't The Times talk tax hikes?" Opinion, Dec. 9).

These are all linked together, and if the L.A. mega-region is going to embrace its future rather than lament its past, we'd better begin a real conversation about what we want, what we need and how we'll pay for it -- and the sooner the better.

Simply put, meaningful congestion relief will require lots of new money in the form of taxes and fees. It won't come from deferring salary increases for state employees or cutting day care. But until someone steps up to that reality, this conversation is going nowhere.

Richard G. Little

Director, USC Keston Institute

for Public Finance

and Infrastructure Policy


Our computers will help us reduce traffic, transportation, gas, smog, parking and office space and improve our standard of health and quality of life -- if we allow them to.

Many business owners and managers have moved certain employees from the office to their homes with much success.

I have worked out of my home office for more then 20 years, and I accomplish more now than when I was at the office.

Don Kempf


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