June 21, 2001
The inaccuracies of your article on the Chandler busway ("Taking on the MTA," June 15), beginning with the biased cover headline "There Goes the Neighborhood," are distressing. The MTA clearly states that buses would go no more than 35 mph, the current speed limit, through the Chandler portion of the route. There is no "nightmarish labyrinth of pedestrian walkways and sound walls that would ... divide ... a community" in the current MTA proposal nor any mention in your story about the accommodations to the neighborhood which include passive crossing signals so that they would not have to be activated on the Sabbath and other holidays.
By repeating the hysteria in the community, this story is an editorial, not an objective account, which would at least speak to the reasons why the Chandler route is best for the entire Valley, east and west, Jews and non-Jews. It is one thing to defend the interests of the Orthodox community. It is another to do it with specious and untrue statements.
John Glass, Studio City
As an Orthodox Jew and a reader of The Jewish Journal, I wanted to thank the writer of the article on the MTA transit issue and commend her on her excellent reporting and fact-gathering. The article was a balanced approach to the issue and gave me a better education on the matter in a short and to-the-point manner than I have learned from numerous articles in the Daily News.
More importantly, by publishing this article The Jewish Journal has once again been the voice of the L.A. Jewish community by exposing critical issues affecting the Jewish community. This article and your previous article on the Los Angeles Times' anti-Israel bias is The Jewish Journal at its very best -- covering the Jewish issues that the downtown media will not cover.
Neal B. Jannol, Los Angeles
I'm the public relations director of the MTA. However, I'm not writing in my official capacity. I'm writing as a reader of The Jewish Journal and a Jew. I also am the son of a Holocaust survivor from Berlin. I'm outraged that my fellow Jews in the Valley compare the proposed busway to the Berlin Wall. Adding insult to injury, your reporter parroted that ridiculous slogan without first checking to see if MTA has any plans for any kind of sound wall. Had Wendy Madnick done that, she would have discovered that the disinformation she was fed is hardly kosher.
Marc Littman, via e-mail
A dedicated busway along Chandler or Oxnard boulevards should not even be considered when low-income areas along Sherman Way and Vanowen Street show a greater need for public transportation and receive fewer services. We do not need to disrupt an entire neighborhood with a bus travelling from Warner Center to North Hollywood when residents of the southwest Valley can drive or bus 15 minutes north to the Metrolink station, which will take them directly downtown. Let's run Rapid buses north on streets like Winnetka and De Soto avenues, away from traffic, and abandon this crazy idea of shuttling people in buses west to east across the San Fernando Valley.
Susie Shannon, Los Angeles
There will be no "stream of buses coming through every few minutes." The plan calls for a schedule of one bus every 10 minutes, certainly enough time for anyone to cross the street safely.
Michael J. Olnick, Los Angeles
Buses will not run down hapless Valley Villagers. It will be the SUV owners busy on their cell phones who will.
Anna G. Abraham, West Hollywood
Wendy Madnick Responds:
Regarding the sound walls, the EIR addresses the possible use of sound walls along the route to mitigate moderate to severe noise impacts (Chapter 4, Section 9). Although not specifically included among the original drawings for sound walls, the report describes 20 single-family residences and 25 multiple-family buildings along Chandler Boulevard as moderately affected by the proposed busway (P. 4-222) and thus candidates for mitigation.
When my story went to press, I was unable to confirm that the MTA's proposed system of automatic activation for pedestrian walkway buttons on the Sabbath and Jewish holiday would be calibrated to the lunar calendar. An MTA spokesman confirmed that the MTA is working with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to install a system calibrated to a lunar calendar.
By 2020, the number of buses projected to run from North Hollywood to Reseda, according to the EIR, are 464 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and 158 from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. The frequency works out to considerably more than once every 7-10 minutes. An MTA spokesman said, "Service frequency would be adjusted as demand for services grows," which would likely mean that the frequency would be adjusted upward.
In the June 15 article on the MTA's proposed Chandler corridor busway ("Taking on the MTA"), we incorrectly stated that buses will reach speeds of 55 mph. To quote from the EIR (Chapter 2, Section 2.3): "For the purposes of this environmental document, an average speed of 37 miles per hour ... has been assumed. Furthermore, it has been assumed that in the Chandler Boulevard median, buses would not operate faster than the posted speed limits on the adjacent north and south roadways." We apologize for the error, and for and for compounding it by referring to the buses as "high-speed."