Homeowners Rail Against 405 Expansion
In the Daily News, Gerald A. Silver, president of Homeowners of Encino, argues that the city and state are dead wrong. Instead of improving the environment, a wider 405 will lead to worse air quality and poor health for those living near it.
It is not reasonable to expect that residents living near the freeways should now be subjected to freeway expansion causing more noise, congestion, glare and air pollution for the convenience of commuters. At what point is enough is enough? After the 405 Freeway is widened, and later winds up with the same congested lanes, will people still say want to keep expanding and add even more car-pool lanes?
People who live near the 405 Freeway are affected by increased lung cancer rates due to automobile exhaust. Do drivers think it is OK to subject people to increased cancer rates for their commuting convenience?
Oh, lung cancer, shmung cancer. People need to get home and they deserve a wide freeway!
All sarcasm aside, the problem with Silver's argument, is that California transportation officials still argue that increasing highway capacity is actually good for the environment. The argument goes that more pollution is caused by cars sitting in congestion than cars moving quickly through less congested highways. The idea that there is a latent demand to drive and that the wider highway will bring out more cars isn't something that California Highway officials recognize.
In other words, while Silver lives in reality and is going to have to live with the increased pollution a wider 405 will bring to Encino; highway officials and politicians can dismiss that argument because they still believe that wider highways are the environmentally sound way to build a transportation network.
Photo: Congressman Brad Sherman