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Opinion

A Sepulveda Pass subway could be L.A.'s own bullet-train boondoggle

Sepulveda Pass
Traffic streams through the Sepulveda Pass on the 405 Freeway between West L.A. and the San Fernando Valley.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I was most entertained by your front-page article on the future Sepulveda Pass rail line. The part about budget estimates being off, that was really good.

I’ve already forgotten the specific numbers, but it doesn’t matter. Whatever numbers were conjured up by the “experts” will triple or quadruple before anyone travels on the new rail line. Have the bullet train and its budget performance made no impression on us?

When the first budget for the Sepulveda Pass project is blown, perhaps some of the “experts” should be compelled to pick up a shovel. Financial debacle that the bullet train is and this project will be, it can at least be a learning experience, for someone.

Mike Liewald, Los Alamitos

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To the editor: The tragedy of the Sepulveda Pass isn’t the $13 billion it could take to tunnel underneath it, but rather the tens of billions of dollars in lost worker productivity due to traffic, not to mention the harm done to the environment by vehicles idling on the 405 Freeway.

Some of the funds going to the high-speed rail should be diverted to this essential project. Build it because, as this article makes clear, the demand is already there.

Fred Smoller, Orange

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To the editor: Does anyone remember being forced to endure the $1.6-billion, six-year-long widening of a small section of the 405 through the Sepulveda Pass that would supposedly solve our problems?

I do; I worked on the landscape architecture for the project and everyone — including me — knew even before construction began that it would be a useless boondoggle of gargantuan proportions. I am not happy to see that time has proved us correct.

Mickey Fielding, Baldwin Hills

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To the editor: Somebody at Metro needs to get on the phone to Elon Musk. He has promised to dramatically lower the cost of tunneling. This could be his big chance.

Noel Park, Rancho Palos Verdes


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