Zycher's article is so outrageous, it must have been written tongue-in-cheek. The AQMD is striking out into new areas of authority because the Legislature decided, in its wisdom, that residents of this basin want clean air in our lifetimes, not 2050. Zycher's opinion that people will not make changes in the way they get to work, if the right incentives are provided, is not borne out in practice.
Fifty percent of ARCO's employees car-pool, for example, primarily because that downtown company provides a wide range of employee car-pool percs. Car-pooling saves me close to $500 a year in parking costs (my employer reimburses me), plus close to 50% of my other car-related costs since I get a break in my insurance, and my car sits in the garage every other day.
Regarding Zycher's argument that reducing the number of cars on the road today will lead to more on the road tomorrow: I would remind him of the population and traffic growth projections for tomorrow. The Southern California Assn. of Governments estimates that without the AQMD's new ride-sharing regulation, freeway speeds will drop from the 1984 average of 35 m.p.h. to as low as 19 m.p.h. in 2010. If innovative steps, such as Regulation XV, are not taken today, the freeways will cease functioning.
Zycher also appears to reject the idea of the need for individual contributions to the common good. I challenge him to propose a viable alternative.
Program Manager, Air Quality