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Letters to the Editor: So now we’re finally mad about how unwalkable much of L.A. is?

A woman walks in downtown Los Angeles wearing a mask on March 21.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I am a native Angeleno, and Los Angeles is the last city in which I want to “stay at home.” The coronavirus-caused economic shutdown has resulted in a lack of cars on the street, exposing how unpleasant and unhealthy our neighborhoods are. (“From helicopters and cruisers, police try to keep public off beaches, trails amid coronavirus,” March 28)

I have walked these streets my whole life. When I was 4 years old, I would walk home from school under jacaranda trees; now, as an adult, I dodge bad drivers as I attempt to walk in Alhambra. I have witnessed how our walking environment has deteriorated in the last 50 years.

With or without cars, our streets are hostile to humans and nature. People have to get into their cars and drive to the beaches and parks; if they’re lucky, they can withdraw to their backyards. We have wide concrete commercial corridors and neighborhood streets full of lifeless lawns.

People, especially children, need to interact with nature. From toddlers smelling lavender to seniors marveling at flower blooms, nature creates a stimulating, healing environment. It’s tragic that we have destroyed nature in our city, especially in a time of crisis.

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James Rojas, Alhambra

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To the editor: California natives thrive and have good health because of our environment. I recently coined the phrase “coronavirus cruising” and shared stories of my cruisin’ days in the 1960s with the people around me.

My husband and I met at Fairmount Park in Riverside. Hundreds of teenagers would drive round and round in their cars on sunny spring days back then.

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I explained to my great granddaughter, as we cruised the park recently, how much fun we had when we were allowed to disembark, walking hand in hand and enjoying boat rides on the lake. Alas, even though all parking areas were blocked by yellow rails, we were able see sorely missed family members and throw kisses at their cars.

This too shall pass.

Roz Casarez, Yucaipa


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