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Paying attention to stoplights

July 26, 2007

Re "Freeway link a door for some, a jam for others," July 23

I was struck by this passage: "After the 210 was extended 20 miles east to Fontana in 2002, the city soon noticed an increase not just in freeway traffic but surface street congestion, said City Manager Bill Kelly. The city responded by synchronizing traffic signals. It has helped, Kelly said, but traffic continues to slow." It raises a question: If the 210 had not been extended, with traffic seeking alternative routes on city streets, would Fontana's officials have left the city's traffic signals unsynchronized?

In Los Angeles, there is talk of reconfiguring Olympic and Pico boulevards to each run one way -- without any mention of, just perhaps, synchronizing the signals on those thoroughfares before taking the radical and inconvenient step of making them one-way. Just what is it about Southern California that keeps elected officials and lifetime bureaucrats so abjectly blind to the advantages of synchronized traffic lights? One would think the substance obscuring their vision is the ozone rising from the vehicles waiting at stoplight after stoplight.

A.L. Hern

Los Angeles

Can we just realize that there are limits to growth? That "smart growth," at best, delays the moment when we must concede the limitations of a finite world?

After observing the mindless expansion of the Los Angeles region, predicated on a future of cheap energy that will not be realized, I have to ask, are we smarter than a colony of bacteria that reproduces and proliferates until it suddenly dies off from an exhaustion of resources?

David M. Marquez


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