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Opinion

Readers React: The absurd idea that more density along the Expo Line will reduce congestion

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An Expo Line train pulls into the Expo/Bundy Station in West L.A. on July 2, 2018.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: A lawsuit by the group Fix the City asserts that the plan to build dense housing near the Expo Line may increase traffic congestion. In his op-ed article, Anthony Dedousis dismisses that argument as circular logic: “In other words, L.A. shouldn’t implement a plan that would reduce congestion without first somehow reducing congestion.”

Dedousis’ argument is based on the assumption that the Expo Line plan will indeed reduce congestion. Fix the City is questioning the assumption.

Unless the new residents of the dense housing complexes along the Expo Line are made to sign a contract saying they will not drive or make substantial use of Uber or Lyft, traffic congestion will increase and the parking crunch will worsen. The nearby Expo Line may entice more people to avoid driving, but it seems implausible that nobody will use a car.

Dedousis also assumes that we must have more housing. As a homeowner with a substantial stake in the future of California, I feel we should seriously consider that assumption. Perhaps if we discouraged additional construction and paid workers what it takes for them to live in the area, we could stabilize the population at a level that maintains the desirability of the California lifestyle.

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Kirk Reinholtz, La Crescenta

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To the editor: There’s no question that the housing crisis is serious and complex, so it is essential for us to think outside the box. Here are some ideas.

First, planners should identify and acquire large, sparsely populated land areas where there is plenty of room to build. They should design low-cost housing for residents who cannot afford the high rents in Los Angeles.

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Next, employment must be made available for these residents. To do that, provide incentives to corporations that hire these workers.

Finally, we need to build the necessary roads and infrastructure. If commercial developers don’t get on board with this project, establish a viable construction organization to do the work.

And yes, we ought include large homeless shelters and support services.

George Epstein, Los Angeles

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To the editor: The Expo Line has been operating for a few years now and everyone knows automobile traffic is worse. This is true especially in places where the train operates at street grade.

The notion that adding 6,000 new homes and 14,000 service jobs near Expo Line stations will decrease traffic is absurd.

Mark Shepherd, Santa Monica

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