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New mobility plan finally gives L.A. a choice besides driving

To the editor: Creating a safe, inviting environment on our roads for people who walk, bike and use transit isn't about forcing people to use these modes of travel, as former Metropolitan Transportation Authority board member Richard Katz characterized it. The vision behind Los Angeles' proposed mobility plan is about giving people the choice to opt out of driving if they want to — and opt out of automobile congestion as well. ("L.A. maps out sweeping transportation overhaul," Aug. 9)

We should also realize that emergencies in which first responders may, in some cases, be delayed by redesigned roadways are rare events. On the other hand, the safety, mobility and humanizing features created by redesigning our roads to serve the needs of a variety of users will bring tangible benefits to the community 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Kent Strumpell, Los Angeles

The writer is a member of the city of Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee.

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To the editor: There's a disconnect in the minds of my City Councilman Jose Huizar and other officials. They propose a plan to increase traffic congestion on broken city streets while encouraging walking on dangerous, broken sidewalks.

This article and the separate piece Sunday about the costs of fixing Los Angeles sidewalks should have appeared side by side. The hundreds of millions of dollars that will be spent — and have been spent — installing bike lanes could be spent on fixing our streets and sidewalks.

City officials have great concern for bikers under the age of 35, but they apparently don't have the same concern for people over that age (I am in my 70s) who can't ride bicycles to our destinations.

Lucy Cole, Eagle Rock

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To the editor: The bus-only lanes could be beneficial to emergency vehicles. These lanes will not be gridlocked with buses; there will be empty space and time between them.

This is how buses, trains and jets operate most efficiently: allowing people to gather to fill up the seats. When emergency vehicles are running the streets with sirens and lights flashing, the open spaces in the bus-only lanes will allow vehicles to pull into these lanes to clear an outside lane for the emergency vehicles.

A problem is that today not enough people on the streets, with or without

bus lanes, are pulling over to the right side to let emergency vehicles pass. This is the fault of the drivers, not the bus lanes.

Matthew Hetz, Los Angeles

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