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Wrong turns on transportation

July 05, 2007

Re "Consider LAX as takeoff point for congestion pricing," July 2

As a citizen of the Los Angeles metroplex, I must admit my confusion over the direction of public policy concerning public transportation. I live in the San Gabriel Valley and would gladly ride the Metrolink to work. However, it's too expensive if you only have a short distance to travel. The city is increasing rates for the buses, and now there's talk about congestion pricing or tolls on the freeways during peak traffic hours.

Am I the only one who detects a problem? The freeway tolls will make a new distinction on the roadway. Management can afford to ride the fast lanes, and the workers will only be able to afford congestion. If we're serious about cleaning the air and relieving traffic, we need to make it easier and more equitable for people to commute and use public transportation. "Privilege" lanes on the freeway that divide us by economic status would set the stage for a further division of our population.

MICHAEL HENDERSON

El Monte

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Re "Will traffic-weary L.A. heed toll call?" June 29

The L. A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has budgeted $592 million for roadway projects in 2007-08, but it does not require that any project actually speed up traffic. Caltrans has a great system of rating freeway segments, A to F, by how jammed up they are. But the MTA does not favor projects aimed at the D and F segments. It also does not evaluate any roadway project for how much the traffic speed has been affected. We motorists are being shorted. Won't anybody on the MTA board help?

CARL OLSON

Woodland Hills

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