In "Orthodox Jews Fight Busway as Sabbath Hazard" (June 25), Amnon Charash says, "If we don't prevail, we will be destroyed." No, you won't. You and the congregation will adapt. Rachel Joseph asks: "If there was an Amish community in North Hollywood, would they run a transportation corridor through their community?" North Hollywood is not zoned for horses, so the Amish wouldn't be there in the first place. Trying to make this an anti-Semitic issue is doing nothing to help the Orthodox Jews' argument. Do they really believe the MTA wants this route because it would upset them? For Rabbi Aron Tendler to equate any sound mitigation with a "Berlin Wall-type" structure, thus evoking the images of the Holocaust, is ridiculous.
I have lived in the neighborhood for 25 years and welcome the busway. I had a chance to buy a nice house in Valley Glen whose back fence faced the corridor. I knew that someday it would either be used for transportation or made into a greenbelt park. I decided against that house.
I have a novel idea how Orthodox Jews going to synagogue on Shabbat and others can cross Chandler Boulevard after the much-needed busway is put in to provide fast transportation between the North Hollywood Red Line Station and Warner Center. They should walk to a controlled intersection, wait for the pedestrian "walk" signal and walk safely across to the other side, just as they do now every day of the week.
Our vote is with the MTA. Chandler, historically as well as presently, remains the best route. Oxnard is a narrow street, with two lanes in either direction. Between Lankershim and Van Nuys boulevards, Oxnard is congested by commuters headed to and from the Van Nuys government center. There are freeway on-and offramps and four schools with scores of big yellow school buses, drop-off traffic and kids on bikes. It's a huge challenge to turn off of any side street onto Oxnard.
These NIMBYs argue that due to religious reasons, they cannot use conveniences that would allow them to safely cross Chandler on the Sabbath and other holy days. [Most Orthodox Jews] will routinely use timers and automatic devices in their homes, so the use of "smart" crosswalks or similar devices should pose no problem.
The right of way is paid for, excellent plans are drawn and all safety issues have been dealt with. We hope the MTA proceeds as planned.
Paul and Sandra Munz
I oppose the Chandler busway for practical reasons, but I am curious as to why the people who live along the route and worship in temples that are on different sides of the right of way moved there in the first place. These tracks have been in place from time immemorial and served the old Red Cars.
Charles J. Thomas
To my beautiful Orthodox brothers: The answer in simple. Continue your healthful, blessed walking. Don't take the bus. We are all here because of the freedoms and blessings that this democracy provides.