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L.A. will never get rid of its traffic problem, with or without congestion pricing

L.A. will never get rid of its traffic problem, with or without congestion pricing
Motorists make their way along the 101 Freeway in Encino. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority wants to explore congestion pricing. This is a bad idea.

We cannot tax our way out of traffic any more than we can reduce the number of residents in and around Los Angeles, nor can most people change where they live or where they must travel to work.

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Encouraging housing development along the various Metro routes is an option, but ultimately, we will never be able to overcome the challenges presented by the spread-out geography of greater Los Angeles.

If Los Angeles and other nearby cities really want to see traffic move more quickly, they should put significantly more effort and money into repairing our streets, which are in a shameful and dare I say dangerous state of disrepair.

Joe Grauman, Los Angeles

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To the editor: A single word appearing in the article explains everything. The word is “choice,” and it implies that working people will make an informed decision about whether or not to pay an additional tax to get to work.

The only real choice would be to pay the tax or pay one’s rent. The effect of congestion pricing will be to remove working poor people from the highway so the wealthy can relax.

If the Red Line subway went from the San Fernando Valley to the Westside and all other rail lines were complete, there might be a bit of fairness to this proposal. But in this form, it is merely insulting.

Jon Hartmann, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Metro wants to study a proposal to tax motorists and ride-share operators to the tune of $580 million over a decade. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is quoted as saying, “This has to be about congestion relief and not to generate more revenue.”

If that is true, then the Metro board members should read the L.A. Times’ March 4 op-ed article, “We can't let China become the global leader in artificial intelligence.” They would learn the city of Hangzhou used artificial intelligence to decrease road congestion.

It’s a shame there isn’t this kind of intelligence, artificial or otherwise, at Metro.

Tom Keiser, Pasadena

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