Regarding Jay Hargrove's letter {"Tear Down the Traffic Lights," July 9}, I wonder if the gentleman knows or cares about any children who must make their way to school, crossing busy intersections on foot? Does he have elderly parents or grandparents who like to take an occasional stroll and perhaps even cross a thoroughfare? Or are the people he cares about safely tucked away in some remote corner of America where the pace of life is slower?

Get a grip, buddy. Slow down and smell the roses. After considerable analysis, I have come to the conclusion that red-light running in Washington is simply a manifestation of "Potomac Fever," a disease characterized by delusions of power and importance. Everybody believes that the government will collapse, or perhaps even the free world, if he doesn't get where he's going, pronto. In truth, there is hardly any deadline that lacks the elasticity to accommodate two or three extra minutes at red lights. Most of us are just not that important in the overall scheme of things.

Here's a novel solution for Mr. Hargrove: Leave a little earlier. Of course, it would help if the various jurisdictions could get their rush-hour traffic light patterns in sync.

NANCY ADELMAN Kensington