Saturday, June 16, 2007

Brentwood Maintains Inner Circle of Hell

Certain freeways in Southern California could be much more pleasant if they were a lane or two wider. There's a stretch through Montecito on the 101, for example, in which traffic almost always comes to a stop. I realize that the people in Montecito don't want to lose any land, but I assume they know that idling cars produce all sorts of noxious gases.

Similarly, there's a section of the 405 through The Valley and Brentwood that is one of the inner circles of hell. In fact, when my former job moved from the Miracle Miles to the Westside and required commuting down the 405, my boss let me telecommute. It's just that bad.

CalTrans has the unenviable job of negotiating with the rich folks in Brentwood to widen the 405, thus making the commute better for thousands, if not millions, of people. And the thing about rich people is, well, they have money to fight Cal Trans.

From the Los Angeles Times:

"It's going to be a nightmare. There must be a way to resolve this without such a devastating impact on the neighborhood," said Jason D. Kogan, a member of the Brentwood Glen Assn. board. He said that under the broader proposal, the residences lost would amount to 16% of the neighborhood.
Trust me. It's already a nightmare for anyone commuting on the 405.

Photograph courtesy of Philip Greenspun