Build the freeway extension as planned

As a local taxpayer and mature professional, I am dismayed at the various groups churning their self-serving issues for long decades (“Residents voice 710 plan concerns,” Feb. 27). Politicians are pandering to the local interests and various “experts” are milking the taxpayers.

The logical response to all this is: The most efficient travel from any point to a destination is via the shortest unobstructed route. This saves time, fuel, wear and tear and reduces pollution.

Ever since the motor vehicle pushed the horse-driven cart off the road, there have been efforts to respond to the new demands. I was taught about this subject while studying engineering and architecture at university. The famous French architect, Le Corbusier, contemporaneously published “Le Cite Radieuse” (or “The Radial City”) promoting his idea of roads built as rings around the center of the city, connected by radial roads extending at 45-degree intervals from the center. This plan allows one to travel by the shortest routes without clogging the city center.

Many cities around the world, in adapting to automobile traffic, have created such systems. Four years ago, I visited Beijing and was impressed by their traffic system built following Le Corbusier. In the process, they did not have to demolish the Forbidden City or other tourist attractions. Obviously, this was possible because they did not have to gratify the local detractors. Their “eminent domain” works.

Unfortunately, here it is the opposite. The Long Beach (710) Freeway extension to the Foothill (210) Freeway was planned decades ago. Homes have been acquired (which languish there), but we are at a standstill, spending billions on various wasteful studies.

Again, emulating President Reagan, my appeal to the senses, if any left, of those bureaucrats is: Mr. Almighty, build that extension — the shortest route, as originally planned!

Yul B. Draskovic


A plea to turn down the music

I really appreciated the letter from Steve and Teri Thompson (“Businesses need to turn down the music,” Feb. 24), as I thought I might be the only one who has noticed that every store and market plays loud rock and/or hip-hop music.

Two months ago, it was so bad in my local Ralphs market that I had to ask if they thought the words to the hip-hop song they were blasting throughout the market at 9 a.m. on a weekday were appropriate and attracted shoppers.

I can't repeat the words to the song in this family paper. I guess the employees are so used to this music they don't even notice it anymore.

When I go into Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods in Glendale, I shop as quickly as I can and get out because the blasting music gives me a headache. I dread going to JCPenney in the Galleria as it blasts me as soon as I enter the store.

Two years ago, I went to one of my favorite smaller stores in the Galleria and the music was so loud I couldn't hear the salesperson. I asked if she could turn the music down and she replied, “I'm sorry, I can't, as we are not allowed to turn it down.”

It's interesting to note that when I went past that store a few months ago, it was gone. If stores really think they have to do this to attract those under 30, fine. But could they please do it after 2 p.m. and either play no music, or softer music, before noon, since almost no one under 40 is in these stores at those times?

Diane Roberts


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