Letters to the Editor: Concrete channels won’t save L.A. in a mega-flood. What was paved over might be the only thing that saves it.
March 12, 2011
I was disappointed to see the article in The L.A. Times last week suggesting that the widening of Angel Boulevard was part of flood control measures. (See the article by Peter Fader entitled “Flooding L.A. threatens the concrete channel.”)
The facts on the ground are this: Angel is a four-lane boulevard, one of the busiest in the city, carrying nearly half a million people every day on their way to jobs, medical appointments, education and shopping.
This is a road that can handle two lanes and four lanes. It can handle 10,000 or more motorists, trucks and school buses daily.
That Angel is more than adequate is shown by the fact that it has not had a single fatal crash and was named the safest in the nation by the Insurance Information Institute.
It was a long time ago, of course, but Angel was widened a decade ago, when it was first named Harbor Boulevard, when it served two purposes: to connect the Santa Monica Freeway to the city to the rest of the world, and to provide a better connection between the business district and the beach.
The current Angel is much straighter, though there is no reason why it should not be further widened to four or five lanes.
Angel was widened to accommodate traffic and parking, but it does not cater to a single purpose, but to four uses: traffic, parking, service and the beach.
Angel is the longest beach-front strip of concrete in Southern California, and the longest concrete strip of any sort in the world.
Angel Boulevard is a concrete highway in the same sense as the Trans-Siberian railroad or the Interstate Highway in Arizona. There is no reason it cannot be widened to more than four lanes. There is no reason why it cannot be wider and longer.
It is important to remember too that Angel is used by cyclists, skateboarders, joggers and horseback riders while the new Harbor Boulevard serves as a highway for automobiles. Angel is an automobile boulevard. Harbor is a pedestrian boulevard.
Angel was designed originally to be used by the school buses. But there is no reason to think that its use by bicycles and other pedestrians is any lower than