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Letters to the Editor: You just bought a car. Here’s how to drive it as rarely as possible

5 and 110 Freeways
Usually clogged with traffic, vehicles flow smoothly along the 5 and 110 Freeways in Los Angeles on March 20.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: As someone who’s enjoyed a car-free commute from Studio City to Hollywood for over the last six years, I have some recommendations for Editorial Page Editor Sewell Chan, who recently bought a car after moving here from New York and relying on transit:

First, pick a place to live that is closer to work. Sixteen to 20 miles from downtown to El Segundo is a long commute, even in a car in Los Angeles. Did he live far from his job in Washington, New York or London?

Second, get a bicycle with a rack, bags or a crate, a rear-view mirror and a helmet. I took my bike on the subway every morning, and with the low ridership we have in L.A., it was rarely a problem. You can also load your bike onto most buses.

Third, you will still need to have a car in Los Angeles or at least have access to one for weekend trips to the hardware store and elsewhere. Still, you can get pretty far without one if you try. It is nice to see the cobwebs and dirt accumulate as the car sits in the same spot day after day.

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Andrew Tilles, Studio City

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To the editor: Chan indicates that his primary reasons for forgoing car ownership were emissions and pollution.

He surely must know that the simplest way not to contribute to pollution is electric vehicle ownership. That would allow him to use clean, renewable energy and appreciate all that Los Angeles has to offer, as well as to visit all his family and friends.

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There is now an abundance of electric vehicles for sale and charging stations on the road. This is the beginning of the clean, renewable-energy future.

Harvey Rich, Thousand Oaks

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To the editor: Three words of advice, Mr. Chan: Buy a bicycle. They’re not just for weekend worshipers of the deity Spandex Sanctimonius.

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If you live in Los Angeles proper and are in reasonable health, you’ll find riding a bicycle is a pretty good way to get around. It’s much more convenient, as it happens, than all the baggage that comes with car ownership.

Kevin Dawson, Los Angeles


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