Letters to the Editor: Make working from home permanent to keep traffic at pandemic levels

Rush-hour traffic on the 110 Freeway through downtown Los Angeles in 2014.
Rush-hour traffic on the 110 Freeway through downtown Los Angeles in 2014.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Columnist Nicholas Goldberg’s assertion that traffic will come back after the pandemic is partially true, but I would assert not at nearly the same levels.

Plenty of businesses were married to an old-school notion that working from home was incompatible with the company’s culture. For those of us lucky enough to still be employed, we’ve found that notion simply isn’t true.

Where I am employed, we went to 100% work from home in early March. While it’s looking likely that some form of social distancing will remain with us for a while, once some rules are relaxed, I for one plan to continue working from home unless I’m absolutely needed in person.


Long gone is my desire to have a face-to-face or a mask-to-mask meeting when I can video conference, save time on my commute (normally 90 minutes per day) and save money on gas.

Wendy Winter, Altadena


To the editor: Goldberg takes a negative view of L.A.'s prospects for reduced traffic after the pandemic.

We have learned much from people having to work at home. We should build on that and encourage a new, permanent way of working that will cut freeway congestion and promote cleaner air. I challenge local leaders to work with businesses to encourage companies to formally adopt remote working or flexible schedules.

Suppose that major businesses were to announce that they “proudly support cleaner air and reduced traffic by working remotely on Wednesdays.” Imagine if our colleges and universities no longer offered Friday classes and also asked their administrators to work at home that day.

What if more organizations were to adopt similar plans or stagger their start schedules for employees?

Marianne Haver Hill, Altadena


To the editor: We need to do three things to permanently reduce traffic.

First, stop building expensive rail lines, and start adding bus service. Second, institute congestion pricing. As Goldberg notes, we have some of it now, and it works. One can say that it is unfair, as the rich get another great perk, except you use the revenue to do what’s next on my list.

Finally, make make public transportation free — not a dollar, not 50 cents, but free. You save on all the infrastructure and staffing required to charge and accept fees.

Increased advertising, cost savings and money from congestion pricing can make free mass transit a reality. Only then will Angelenos truly have transportation options.

Mitchell Schwartz, Los Angeles