Proposal to Expand LAX

My reaction to Mayor Richard Riordan's endorsement of plans to expand Los Angeles International Airport is one of abject horror. As outlined in The Times (March 5), the mayor backs a proposal to increase passenger capacity from 60 million passengers a year to 100 million at a cost of about $10 billion.

Please, Mr. Mayor, consider the effect on traffic. I work near the airport, commuting on the 405 Freeway from the Valley. Usually it takes me a long hour and 10 minutes to get home after work. A week ago, however, when traffic was heavier than normal in the aftermath of a storm, it took an hour and 10 minutes just to get from the 105 Freeway near LAX to the Santa Monica Freeway--a distance of only eight miles!

Unfortunately, the expansion the mayor and airport commissioners are proposing will dramatically increase traffic and make every day worse.



It has been widely reported that the cost of building the very large and beautiful Getty Museum and its passenger tram was $1 billion. The cost of the proposed LAX expansion is put at $8 billion to $12 billion. Based on this comparison, it appears to me that the cost of the proposed LAX expansion is excessive. Is the proposed expansion of LAX really the most efficient, cost-effective, environmentally friendly method for airport capacity expansion or is it instead the plan designed to bring in the most federal dollars?



Whether classes are taught in English, Spanish, bilingual or Martian really won't matter because if Mayor Riordan succeeds in quadrupling the number of planes using LAX, the students are not going to be able to hear their teachers or concentrate well enough to study.

JIM BABBITT, Manhattan Beach

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