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Is the subway the right way?

July 17, 2007

Re " 'Subway to the Sea' plan still adrift," July 14

Given the boondoggles that have occurred with the rail system over the last 30 years, shouldn't consideration be given as to whether a route under Wilshire Boulevard is the best idea? The article mentions that the route would pass near Century City. Wouldn't it be better to alter the route to include it? Wouldn't it be better to have the route go north at San Vicente Boulevard to and westward down Santa Monica Boulevard at least as far as Century City, allowing direct connections to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and West Hollywood, to generate more ridership? The kind of people who live or work in Century City or West Hollywood are more likely to use the train to get downtown if they can do so directly and not have to rely on the bus or a shuttle to get to a station.

RICK MITCHELL

Los Angeles

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A viable alternative to subways are busways, not on major streets such as Wilshire but rather on the former railroad rights of way owned by the city. Former railways run along San Vicente Boulevard and Burton Way from the Miracle Mile to Beverly Hills, Slauson Avenue from mid-city to Marina del Rey, and Venice Boulevard from mid-city to Venice. They can produce the same results as the Orange Line for a fraction of the costs of subway construction, while providing service decades sooner. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Westside homeowners may not like the idea of busways. However, time is passing and the public wants affordable public transit.

SEAN MCCARTHY

West Hills

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What political machinery in this city/county prevents or has prevented the building of a monorail system as our method of public transportation? We've seen Disneyland's for 50 years. We like it. With the massive increase in population this area will have by 2050, why is there continued useless talk about an exorbitantly priced subway to the sea, more and more freeway lanes and even double-decker freeways in an earthquake-prone area? Where is the transportation common sense?

LOUISE DELANEY

La Crescenta

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Sea levels are going to rise in the next 50 years, swamping low-lying coastal cities. We don't know how much of Santa Monica will be underwater, but we can confidently assume that the water table will rise into the tunnels of any new subway. We can no longer assume the environment will remain stable and predictable. Planners should switch their focus to above-ground light rail. It's much cheaper to build, operate, maintain and reconstruct.

DANILA ODER

Los Angeles

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