Our story challenging claims by Los Angeles officials that the “subway to the sea” would relieve traffic congestion (“$9 Billion Subway-to-Sea Rip-Off,” Sept. 24) generated a heap of responses from advocates of the proposed rail line. Commenters argued that the subway is not supposed to ease traffic bottlenecks, but is an alternative for Angelenos who want to avoid jammed streets.
Writers also pointed out that the Weekly is boneheaded, as in this from Roberto Velazquez: “Listen boneheads, NOTHING will eliminate traffic congestion in a large metropolitan area like Los Angeles. The nature of automobile travel is that traffic jams and bottlenecks occur due to accidents, rubbernecking, human nature, and just plain too many cars out on the roads. Our city passed the breaking point a long, long time ago. What exactly do people think is going to relieve congestion? Freeway widening? Can you give an example of a Los Angeles basin freeway that was widened and then became free-flowing during rush hour?”
Alan K. Weeks writes: “I have been following transportation in Los Angeles for over 60 years. I am happy to have lived to see rail systems being revived. The Highway Lobby has looted and hoarded most all of the public funds for highways, freeways and bridges during the last 75 years. I don't see anyone using the argument that these projects will not relieve traffic. Actually they don't relieve traffic, they increase it. We need both highways, railroads and rail Rapid Transit.”
From Lauren Cole: “This article misses the point. Traffic is going to keep getting worse whether we build a subway or not. But the subway gives those of us who either work or live on the Westside an alternative to sitting in traffic in a car or a bus.”
Jake has a different view: “Dear Commenters, As much as I appreciate and agree with your strictly qualitative 'mass transit good, cars bad' take on things, the analysis conducted for this project are highly accurate CALCULATIONS. The underlying fact remains … the project as advertised does not reflect the on-the-ground reality. Enjoy your nice cup of morning rage.”
DICK RIORDAN WAS NO SAVIOR OF LIBRARIES
Our story about the city's boneheaded decision to cut its library funding (“City of Airheads,” Sept. 16) continues to draw thoughtful responses, several of which arrived by snail mail this week.
David R. Moss, president of Friends of Los Feliz Library for 13 years, writes: “While I agree with every charge made by writer Patrick Range McDonald, as regards to the sleazy 'Library Performance' of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Council, I have to wonder how thorough a homework job he did. Constant reference to ex-Mayor Richard Riordan as the Savior Saint is just as bubbleheaded as the behavior of Villaraigosa/Garcetti/& Co.
“Does McDonald remember that in the early '90s, Riordan tried TO SELL City Library — the 5th Street Citadel — to Philip Morris Tobacco Co.? As a member of the grassroots coalition that handed him what I understand was his first legislative defeat, I remember the whole ugly spectacle very vividly.
“Truthfully, we did it not once but twice, with City Council folks evincing a lot more backbone than has been shown by their 21st-century successors.”
Picking up on that theme, Stephen J. Glazer writes, in longhand, “The real problem here is unanimity of thought resulting from one-party domination. The city does not work. I am not suggesting 15 Republicans, but a couple of councilpeople who intrinsically think differently would at least shake up the place. Liberals always speak of diversity, but usually mean skin color or sexual orientation, rather than thought.”
GOLD HAS 'EM SEEING RED
If anything animates Weekly readers more than library cuts and subways, it's Mexican food. Food critic Jonathan Gold's look at chef Rick Bayless's restaurant, Red O (“Back to Bayless,” Sept. 24), brought out the inner critic in a number of readers.
“Red O was entirely too uptight for my taste … from the valet who lectured me about not being able to get in without a reservation (which I had), to the doorman/host who barely acknowledged my presence and then was rude when he got my name wrong, to the waiter who rolled his eyes when my date made an inquiry about the menu,” writes Bill Olson.
“I don't have anything against Bayless, I am a fan of his show,” writes Israel Ruiz. “At least he's trying to showcase our culture. But I wouldn't consider him the real deal, even if his off-the-rack salsa is pretty tasty.”
WELCOME BACK, ELVIRA
Finally, our cover story on the comeback by the one and only true Mistress of the Dark (“Elvira's World,” Sept. 24) tickled her legions of fans.
“So glad Elvira is getting a new show going,” writes April Wahlin. “It's been too long without a great hostess to bring classic horror movies to audiences.”
Writes Calliope: “I loved Movie Macabre on Sunday afternoons, and Elvira is right up there with Katharine Hepburn and Ruth Gordon for me as far as role models go. We love ya girlfriend.”
WE LOVE YA TOO, ELVIRA …
… almost as much as we love comments from readers, especially those who sign their names and send to firstname.lastname@example.org.