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Roads to nowhere as region bloats

July 16, 2007

Re "Needed by 2050: decked freeways, tunnels, tolls, trains," July 11

It is dismaying to see The Times continue to parrot the same misguided ideas about transportation planning that Los Angeles has been following for decades. Research and common sense show that building and widening roads simply make traffic worse. While there may be temporary traffic relief with new capacity, this is soon oversubscribed by home construction. Yet public officials know that people want to have more roads, so they keep building them.

We should stop building roads and start directing transportation expenditures toward building light rail, expanding bike paths, converting surface streets to express bus routes and more. If we build more mass transit and bike paths, we will draw people to L.A. who are willing to use trains, buses and bicycles. These are exactly the people this city needs.

DANIEL MASKIT

Marina del Rey

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The traffic could be reduced literally overnight by mandating a 10-hour-a-day, four-day staggered workweek. Companies can start their shifts at odd hours. There's no reason for 90% of employers to start the morning shift between 7 and 9 a.m. Spread it out. Traffic could be brought back to 1970s levels. It would be inconvenient for a while, but what inconvenience is as bad as sitting idle on freeways?

JAMES SAICHECK

Banning

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Your article on our transportation needs is grossly premature. Our track record shows that it will be at least 2060 before we begin to address the transportation needs of 2050. In 2070, when we begin to actually do something, any construction plans will be tied up in the courts, the state legislature and Congress for decades.

DAVID A. LOMBARDERO

Los Angeles

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