I cannot believe what I read in The Times article (Dec. 15), "Vegas Dreams of Tourist Hitting Town at 300 M.P.H."
The westbound freeway traffic on the San Bernardino and Pomona Freeways between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. has come to a near stop on weekday mornings, and all that the mayor of Rancho Cucamonga and the executive director of the San Bernardino County Assn. of Governments can say is that a new train system would create a flow of California money into Nevada and it would turn the county into a "huge parking lot." I can't believe I am hearing this.
It now takes, on average, three hours to drive from the Rancho Cucamonga area to Los Angeles in the morning peak rush hours and in the afternoon from 3 to 7 p.m., it could take longer. Housing development is growing faster than we can build freeway on-ramps. Thousands of cars are added monthly to the inland freeways and all we can come up with is a project that will take gamblers to Las Vegas faster? Recently, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors announced that funds for completion of the Foothill Freeway could come as soon as two years. Freeway commuters don't have two years. They need relief now. The area needs a parallel system to the freeways--now. If we keep relying on the freeways and adding more cars, we will choke to death on smog within three years.
Or, I know, we could build restaurants and hotels along the freeways. The enterprise would inject funds into those decrepit and dying cities along the way. While we're waiting for tractor-trailer trucks and their contents of everything from tomatoes to toxic materials to be scooped up, we could be comfortable. The "rubber-neckers" who feel that it's their civic duty to observe the grim details of every incident that transpires on the freeway system could be comfortably seated in a cozy little coffee shop window and get a blow-by-blow account of passing traffic.
Hotels would be a nice touch. Perhaps a few bed and breakfast places such as those in Cambria or Carmel; furnished perhaps in 21st-Century air-pollution shades of gold and grays (always popular colors). This would give those people caught in the eight-hour traffic jams, now popular in large cities like Houston and New York, a pleasant place to wait out the confusion. After all, there is just no sense in being one-dimensional about freeway commuting. And, someone might as well make some money out of all of this misery. Plus, it would make commuting that much nicer.
To hell with a train to Las Vegas. People who drive from the inland cities need a way to get to work in a reasonable amount of time. Six hours a day on the freeway is unacceptable . There are railroad tracks from Palm Springs to Los Angeles--why aren't they being utilized?
If anyone is worried that the inland areas will become huge parking lots--forget it--the air will be so foul with combustion fumes that the area will be uninhabitable. We will be lucky if it will be good enough for a parking lot.
I am tired of vested interests, I am sick of having to wait until someone can make billions of dollars before the public interest can be served. This planet is for all of its inhabitants, not just wealthy capitalists who use the needs of the public as an opportunity to make money. If the average person cannot earn a living, there will be no business in this area either.