Tollway Smog Is Not What We Need

Re Michael Fitts Commentary, "Tollways Will Make Things Worse" (Oct. 28) opposing the transportation corridors: Contrary to his assertion, high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes are now, and always were, planned as part of the San Joaquin Hills Corridor.

Mr. Fitts claims that air quality will deteriorate because of the corridors. In fact, cars which will move better will pollute less. The corridors will improve the flow of traffic and reduce regional air pollution.

The need for the corridors to solve traffic congestion in Orange County and to improve air quality in the region has been endorsed by the agencies legally empowered to regulate such matters: the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the Southern California Assn. of Governments, a fact that Mr. Fitts reluctantly acknowledges. Why reluctantly? Because these and other responsible agencies have intensively studied and debated all the arguments of Mr. Fitts and his employer, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and have rejected them.

Nonetheless, NRDC is intent upon using litigation to kill the corridor, even if it means condemning thousands of South County drivers to even worse congestion.

Our agency believes that the corridor can be part of a comprehensive solution to traffic congestion. The business and political leaders of the county, with rare exceptions, agree. Let's work together to find answers instead of advocating actions that will increase congestion instead of lessening it.

WILLIAM WOOLLETT JR.

Executive director

Transportation Corridor Agencies

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