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Right on Westside Gridlock

January 23, 2007

Dear Editor,

Frank Gruber is right about the strong local reportage coming from the LA Times’ Steve Lopez on the topic du jour, Westside gridlock. (see column) It is unfortunate however that Lopez and others seem to be missing the obvious solution staring us in the face: extending the Wilshire Subway to the Sea.

With the density of jobs, housing, cultural amenities, and shopping along the Wilshire Corridor, Century City, Westwood, West Los Angeles, and Santa Monica (California’s third densest city) sans rail, Westside drivers and buses will forever be stuck in traffic. Reversible lanes on Olympic Boulevard? Not gonna happen!

Expo is a worthy cause (any fixed rail transit can help at this point) but the lack of jobs and density along that line, as well as frequent at-grade street crossings, means Expo is not the Holy Grail many of us believe.

Santa Monicans should strongly support Mayor Villaraigosa’s real Westside gridlock solution, the Subway to the Sea. Let’s hope that in addition to the recent State Transit Bond, our home-state Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic Congress will now come through with a big check to make it all happen.

Allen Freeman
Santa Monica

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