Re “With Traffic at a Crawl, Planners Talk of Tunnels,” Sept. 18
Twenty-three-mile-long tunnels through the mountains in order to relieve traffic congestion at a cost of billions -- you’re kidding, right? If ever there was an idea demonstrating the poverty of current thinking about our automobile obsession, this is it. It’s time to remove fantasy from public policy debate about the design for our cities in the 21st century -- the notion that we can continue single-passenger, longdistance commutes from suburbs to job sites in the coming decades with falling supplies and rising prices for fossil fuels. Infrastructure that enables this behavior is a recipe for disaster.
We need to pull the transportation problem back into the mix of overall community design and start thinking seriously about re-localization of our neighborhoods, with public transportation as the connector.
Re “Westside’s second chance,” editorial, Sept. 17
With the option to expand Westside freeways and surface streets pretty much a thing of the past, the remaining options to address congestion are to build mass transit or do nothing. As to those “shortsighted politicians and NIMBY Westside residents” referred to in your editorial, I’m sure that for years they have weighed the question of what the financial cost and impact of building mass transit would be.
Perhaps now the question should instead be: What is the financial cost and impact of doing nothing? Doing nothing is no longer a viable option.
KENNETH S. ALPERN
President, the Transit Coalition, L.A.
Regarding the future subway extension down Wilshire Boulevard, I suggest making two detours. First, connect it to the Beverly Center to serve shoppers and workers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Reconnect it to Wilshire in Beverly Hills and make another detour to Century City. Reconnect it to Wilshire again in Westwood and toward the beach.
ROBERT A. STARK