89.3 F
San Fernando
Thursday, Jun 8, 2023

Letter Christensen

Valley rail line I am disturbed by your suggestion that all subway construction, including the North Hollywood extension, be stopped. To halt the only segment that is actually on schedule and has already completed the two miles of twin tunnels between North Hollywood and Universal City and has gone a mile into the Santa Monica Mountains on it’s two-and-one-half mile journey between Universal City and Hollywood is wildly irresponsible. You are wrong to characterize the MTA board’s decision to delay making definitive plans on the east-west Valley line until the environmental impact report comes in this spring as the board’s “inability to make tough calls.” Understand that, if the Valley line ever comes about, it would be more than 12 years away. The MTA has already eliminated subway as an option for all of it as being not having the density to be cost effective, and they are looking at combinations of aerial, open trench, at-grade, light rail, even dedicated busways for the old Southern Pacific corridor that is already MTA-owned and connects North Hollywood with Warner Center. The exception is the three-mile stretch between the Tujunga wash and Hazeltine Avenue, which is mandated to be subway by state law. To try to modify this law before receiving the environmental impact report invites additional years of lawsuits and delays that would tie up even busway options. The MTA board, in this case guided very wisely by Zev Yaroslavsky, has acted responsibly and is being accused unfairly in the press as holding out until after the municipal elections. I expect to be reading soon that the MTA causes cancer and is responsible for the Dodgers being up for sale. Today’s media-shark-feeding-frenzy of MTA-bashing has a short-sighted, fanatical tunnel vision of its own. We’ve seen all this before in cities like San Francisco, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C., where, during the early construction years, rapid transit projects are regarded as “The Boondoggle That Destroys The City,” and then, upon completion, become “The Beloved City Lifeline.” Georgetown fought to stay out of the D.C. Metro system and now, 20 years later, is lobbying feverishly for a $1 billion extension of the subway to come to them. ROGER CHRISTENSEN Sherman Oaks

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