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Light rail would be welcomed

March 24, 2007

Re "Cheviot Hills residents divided on light-rail route," March 17

My wife and I live five houses from a Gold Line station. We bought the house years ago when the rail line was in the planning stages, anticipating and eventually experiencing higher property values, traffic relief and an easy way to navigate the city. Buying close to transit was one of the best decisions we ever made.

But at the Cheviot Hills meeting, I spoke to some who saw rail as some sort of dark force that lowers property values and endangers children. I told them I have yet to see light rail bring down a neighborhood, be it in Portland, Boston, Istanbul or Pasadena. There is no reason why the Expo Line won't benefit the neighborhood, much like the Red Cars provided residents cheap, local transportation long before cars and freeways swallowed up Westside streets.

Instead of second-rate route diversions proposed at the meeting, we should be linking neighborhoods, not continuing to isolate them via gridlock.

JERI AND NICK SANTANGELO

Los Angeles

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Having once lived in the neighborhood, I recall the Expo Line/Cheviot Hills skirmish going back decades. The Expo Line as currently routed would serve the broadest demographic of any in L.A., from downtown, past USC, the West Adams district, the revitalized Culver City, Westside Pavilion and Westwood and the choked Olympic corridor business district, not to mention the beach-bound masses so reviled by detractors. If only some Hollywood hotshot were allowed to design the nose of the train to resemble a Hummer. Great product placement for GM and, like, totally cool in the minds of Cheviot Hillians.

EARL BEADLE

Pasadena

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It is amusing that the Cheviot Hills Home Owners Assn. has now become expert in transit planning. Its suggestion of diverting the new Expo Line down Venice Boulevard to Venice has never been a viable route. Actually, it is not an alternate route but a diversionary route. It would cost millions more and add 10 or more minutes to the line. This would kill the potential ridership. Hopefully, MTA planners will pick the shortest, fastest and most logical route.

ALAN K. WEEKS

Los Angeles

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Sign me up as a future rider of the Metro Expo Line. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The available right-of-way is close enough to that line. Where's the controversy?

STUART WEISS

Los Angeles

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