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Letters to the editor

Abandoning a state highway; California's electric-car future; saving adult education

February 01, 2012
  • Caltrans spokesman Patrick Chandler removes rocks from a stretch of Highway 39 that has been closed for 30 years. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Caltrans spokesman Patrick Chandler removes rocks from a stretch of Highway…

End of the road?

Re "Walking away from a highway," Jan. 29

So Caltrans wants to abandon California Highway 39 in the San Gabriel Mountains to save $1.5 million a year in repair costs. I have a suggestion that will save even more money: Abandon the sections of the Pacific Coast Highway that are prone to landslides.

Caltrans seems to work quickly to reopen PCH when numerous landslides occur during the rainy season. Abandoning the sections of PCH that continue to have a high landslide risk would surely save more money than the paltry amount spent on Highway 39.

Of course, in some areas this would cause the loss of convenient beach access, and some coastal businesses would probably close. But that's no different than cutting what little recreational mountain access remains for San Gabriel Valley residents by abandoning Highway 39.

Curtis Tucker

Monrovia

All the fuss about Highway 39 could be solved by charging a toll of $1 a car.

If there are 3 million visitors a year and it costs $1.5 million to maintain the road, that should pay for the maintenance. Drivers would save money on gas if they are going to Mt. Waterman to ski or to some of the hiking areas.

I'm sure the U.S. Forest Service would appreciate having the road kept open.

Ralph Manker

Torrance

California's cars of the future

Re "State orders hike in super clean cars," Jan. 28

The California Air Resources Board's admirable auto emissions standards, which are intended to reduce by one-third the state's global warming emissions by 2025, could be nearly met now if motorists would drive near the speed limit, avoid constant acceleration and slow well ahead of traffic signals.

This is a form of progress that is within the ability of every driver. It is a challenge for our culture's vaunted ideal of personal responsibility — something I see little evidence of on our roads.

Gregory Wright

Sherman Oaks

It's astonishing that very little effort or publicity is devoted to reducing the amount of driving done by individuals. Even clean vehicles (whatever source of energy they may use) are going to require the use of energy to power them.

More should be done to publicize the benefits of carpooling. Just think: If each person who could do so would carpool one day a week, traffic congestion would be reduced significantly. Everyone would get where they wanted to go faster, and the pollution caused by the wasted fuel in standing traffic or extra traffic would be saved.

Gene Goldstein

Woodland Hills

I was disappointed that not a single super-clean car driver was quoted in this article about his or her experiences.

As an owner of a Toyota RAV4 electric vehicle since 2001, I have not only saved on "fuel" (the sunshine that falls on my solar array) but also on maintenance costs. Because electric vehicles have far fewer components than internal combustion engines, they rarely need repairs.

Besides saving the environment, zero-emission electric vehicles save consumers money.

Who doesn't like to save cash?

Norma Williamson

Cerritos

In a chilling example of heavy-handed government, Air Resources Board member Ken Yeager says, "We are going to change what consumers can buy." In other words, the government is going to eliminate consumers' ability to choose their own cars.

Imagine a world where the government controls which cars consumers can buy. The Soviet Union? No, California in 2018.

Robert Steele

La Quinta

Adult education pays off for L.A.

Re "Adult ed on chopping block," Column, Jan. 28

Thanks to Sandy Banks for writing about the pending elimination of the L.A. Unified School District's adult education division. As an adult education instructor, I know how integral the programs are to Los Angeles.

We teach English, citizenship and trades. We help people attain high school diplomas. We teach mothers and fathers to help their children with homework. We teach reading to people who can't read. We help older adults continue to experience the joy of learning.

The cost of running the adult division accounts for about 2% of the district's budget. Is a 2% savings worth devastating the lives of thousands of adults?

Jill Gluck

West Hollywood

If 350,000 adults are denied education in English and job skills, what kind of a city will Los Angeles become in the near future?

The scenario of living in a city filled with non-skilled, non-English-speaking people fills me with sadness and dread. Americans are already aggravated having to press "1" for English; how many more language choices will we be forced to make in the future?

Educating immigrants and dropouts is not something to be frivolously cut from a budget.

Bessie Platt

Los Angeles

Two sides of the pension debate

Re "Pension reform clamor grows," Jan. 28

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