I was stunned to open the newspaper to see that my former neighbor is at it again ("Citizens group sues city over 24th Street widening," March 20).

Having lived in the "old" Westchester neighborhood for 25 years, I and all of my neighbors have been aware that the city would eventually resolve the 10 blocks of four-lane traffic that splits the metropolitan population of 500,000 in half. Attempting to stop the expansion of 24th Street to six lanes is an exercise in futility, costing the city precious dollars that could better be spent in the delivery of services -- not in paying lawyers to defend frivolous lawsuits.

Luddites never cease to amaze me. Bakersfield's growth is inevitable. Having a traffic bottleneck will only increase congestion, not stop the growth of the city. In my time, I have been to multiple fantastical meetings where people would suggest totally unrealistic ideas, like an underground freeway under 24th Street or the re-routing of traffic onto Highway 204. And now I see they are promoting a beltway around Bakersfield. Wake up people: The traffic needs to go through the middle of town, not spend miles of wasted gasoline driving on some mystical freeway that no one has any money to fund.

But worst is the hyperbole that neighborhoods will be destroyed by this removal of one row of houses. In reality, each neighborhood stretches half a mile north and south of 24th. Sad as I am for current residents, in 10 years no one will notice that those properties are gone.

Lamar J. Kerley