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Letters: The 405 blues

April 27, 2013
  • When the (construction) dust settles, will Westside drivers be better off with an expanded 405 Freeway?
When the (construction) dust settles, will Westside drivers be better… (Bret Hartman / for The Times )

Re "405 stuck in slow lane," April 25

The Times was kind enough to print a letter I wrote nearly six years ago, on June 23, 2007, on the 405 Freeway widening project. I will take the opportunity to say "I told you so." To recap, I wrote:

"Everybody will lose with this freeway expansion, because 10 minutes after it opens, the 405 Freeway will look exactly like it does today, only wider.

"People will have suffered through the construction mess, traffic congestion and inconvenience, some losing their homes, all to give Caltrans more to do and a bunch of contractors cost overruns that we will be paying for as we sit in the bumper-to-bumper traffic a week after the expanded carpool lane opens."

Prescient? Not really. Just the wisdom from being born and raised in Sherman Oaks and West L.A., and from being a student who drove to UCLA every day on the 405 when it opened. That initially blissful ride quickly turned into a congestion nightmare. By the time I graduated, I was taking Roscomare Road to school. It was faster.

Joanne Polvy Cohen

Sherman Oaks

I wonder if the 405 carpool lanes will be converted into toll lanes, like on the 110 and 10 freeways. Will the privately owned FasTrak be responsible for tracking who drives in these lanes?

Toconvert what we paid for with our precious tax dollars into a revenue stream, and to be charged over and over again for using what was originally funded as a carpool lane, would be a reason to revolt in the streets.

Kenneth Thompson

Manhattan Beach

In 1988 I was diagnosed with two blocked arteries. While I was waiting for surgery, my doctor asked me not go to work because of stress. I told the doctor that as a manager, I could delegate and minimize the stress.

His response: "I'm not worried about stress on your job; I'm concerned about you driving the 405."

Norman Redlich

Woodland Hills

The best solution for the woes of the 405 is for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, who complained about his commute on the freeway, to fund the installation of an electric train down the center median. Getting people out of their life-sucking, polluting commute would provide a bit of heaven on Earth for long-suffering Angelenos.

Mary Kay Gordon

Santa Monica

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