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Old August 12th, 2006, 05:56 AM   #1
saiholmes
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I-5 Widening Project: Bottleneck Ahead



I-5 Widening Project: Bottleneck Ahead
O.C. begins widening the freeway to 10 lanes. But L.A. County won't even begin to expand on its six lanes for years.
By David Reyes, Times Staff Writer
August 11, 2006

A project designed to ease congestion on the Santa Ana Freeway in northern Orange County has officials worried about a massive traffic jam at the Los Angeles County line where the freeway will narrow from a total of 10 lanes to six.

The $314-million project, begun in June, will expand the freeway from three to five lanes in each direction along a 2-mile stretch in Buena Park — 10 years before a similar widening of Interstate 5 is expected to be finished in Los Angeles County.

"All they're doing is creating a new bottleneck," said Assemblyman Rudy Bermudez (D-Norwalk), who has been a critic of the Orange County widening. "It looks as if they want to move the Orange Crush north, where it will be known as the L.A. Crush."

What is needed, Bermudez said, is better regional planning to avoid creating chokepoints similar to the Orange Crush — where the Orange, Garden Grove and Santa Ana freeways meet just south of Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

The new project demonstrates what can happen when one county's transportation priorities don't mesh with its neighbor's, Bermudez and other elected officials said.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's plans to widen the Santa Ana Freeway have been delayed by a lack of funding and by other priorities, MTA officials said, including improving the Long Beach Freeway and completing its extension at Valley Boulevard in Alhambra, and adding carpool lanes to the San Diego Freeway.

The MTA has also had other projects, such as completing a subway line from downtown Los Angeles to the San Fernando Valley, constructing three light-rail lines and upgrading its bus system.

"Obviously, we have different challenges," MTA Chief Executive Roger Snoble said.

In 2010, when the concrete is drying on the Santa Ana Freeway in Orange County, the jackhammers are set to begin work across the county line to widen the highway from La Mirada to the San Gabriel River Freeway. That expansion through La Mirada, Norwalk, Santa Fe Springs and Downey is scheduled to be completed in 2016.

The plans are to match Orange County's 10 lanes, Snoble said, with the possibility of adding two more.



The MTA recently received state funds for future work with Orange County transportation planners to avoid similar scenarios.

The situation highlights a major shift over the past decade from state to local control of road funds.

In 1997, state transportation agencies lost much of their power when a landmark law gave counties the authority to set their own priorities with 75% of state transportation money. Counties, especially those with a network of freeways, also used money from voter-approved tax measures to take greater charge of their own planning.

In 1990, Orange County voters passed Measure M, a half-cent-on-the-dollar sales tax, which is expected to generate $4.2 billion for transportation projects by the time it expires in 2011. The measure is up for renewal in November.

One of the initiative's campaign issues was to use the money to widen the Santa Ana Freeway through Orange County, said Art Brown, chairman of the Orange County Transportation Authority. "We promised the taxpayers that we would have it done by 2011, and we have to fulfill that promise," Brown said. "Los Angeles County is the one that has had delays."

Meanwhile, Orange County has considered erecting a sign to welcome motorists at the Los Angeles County line.

Brown suggested in jest: "Welcome to Better Roads."

But that didn't top Buena Park Councilwoman Patsy Marshall's "Aren't You Sorry You Didn't Do This?"

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...home-headlines
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Old August 12th, 2006, 06:09 AM   #2
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More lanes yes but more traffic noooooo
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Old August 12th, 2006, 06:34 AM   #3
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I hope we don't use our funds to expand the 5 from OC to 605. Since most users are from the OC area gridlocking LA County FWYs. We should use that money to built a Light Rail from Santa Fe Springs to Downtown LA. Then have people from the OC pay to use it and conribute money into the LA economy. Just for the record I'm all for adding carpool lanes and expanding the LA city highways mainly. Everywhere else is like whatever!!!!!
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Old August 12th, 2006, 08:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferneynism
I hope we don't use our funds to expand the 5 from OC to 605. Since most users are from the OC area gridlocking LA County FWYs. We should use that money to built a Light Rail from Santa Fe Springs to Downtown LA. Then have people from the OC pay to use it and conribute money into the LA economy. Just for the record I'm all for adding carpool lanes and expanding the LA city highways mainly. Everywhere else is like whatever!!!!!
http://www.metrolinktrains.com/lines...orange_county/
?
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Old August 12th, 2006, 10:02 AM   #5
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I was recently on the 5 to an Angels game. There already is a bottleneck on the Buena Park and LA parts of the highway going both ways, but particularly noticable going north since the areas around Anaheim have 14 lanes (2 HOVs per side). I also went to a game from Long Beach and the 22 is also being expanded to 10 lanes from 6. So at least they are trying to end the Crush. I understand LA has to spread its money out to more projects than OC, but Bermudez is a jerk for playing off Orange County attempting to deal with its traffic problems as being a way for it to hurt LA County.
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Old September 2nd, 2006, 02:39 PM   #6
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The latest information about the Garden Grove Freeway (SR-22) Improvement Project
The Orange County Transportation Authority, in partnership with the California Department of Transportation, began work to add capacity to the Garden Grove Freeway (SR-22).

Currently, the SR-22 carries more than 200,000 cars daily. This 12-mile freeway intersects most of the major north/south corridors in Orange County, making it a vital link to residents, businesses, employees and visitors.

*

Freeway Opened: mid 1960s
*

Length (in miles): 12
*

Current Number of Lanes (each direction): 3
*

Future Number of Lanes (each direction)
The City Drive to Beach Blvd.: 5
Beach Blvd. to Valley View St.: 4
Plus auxiliary lanes throughout the project
*

Average daily vehicle traffic (2004): 200,000
*

Average daily vehicle traffic (2020): 250,000
*

Project Cost: $550 million
*

Total days of construction: 800
*

Total days of construction left: 89 (apx.)
* Scheduled completion: November 2006

http://www.octa.net/freeway%20street...&subPage=sr-22
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Old September 2nd, 2006, 04:27 PM   #7
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I don't mean to poo poo all over the widening of I-5 but $550 mil is mostly a whole new light rail line. All of this money is just for widening a freeway? In addition, a rail line can be adjusted for capacity, not to mention TOD's built, retail, blah blah blah , I'm sure we are all in agreement here. Further, I fully understand that all aspects of our transport system is important. But just a moment to vent: widening a freeway only encourages more fucking traffic. The rapid transit advocates go around begging and pleading for money like $550 million for a whole city altering light rail line and that money is spent on a 40 year old freeway that is designed to whisk people through and out of the city/county and their dollars with them.......other than that, I think it's a good idea.
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 12:32 AM   #8
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build some kind of train down the median!! orange county is gettin more populated fast and you cant have an urban area that relies solely on roads and freeways. if it were like that, the streets would end up being wider than the blocks!

after about 3 to 4 lanes, a freeway becomes rediculous with people having to cross so many lanes just to get to an exit or certain interchange ramp.

anyone been to the 57/60 interchange? everytime i pass through there there's this street called grand avenue. people who want to go to los angeles from there have to fight other cars to get to the left three lanes (its a 12 lane freeway). those 3 lanes go to LA and the right 3 go to santa ana. there's only 40 to 50 meters between the on ramp and the interchange.

i hope the I-5 is prepared for more accidents!

i think it might be better if there were some kind of lightrail/heavyrail/monorail/ or maglev along all our freeways and TOD built around it. i don't know why there isn't TOD built along the freeways already. seems like a lot of dense areas are away from the freeways. that means when we need to build transit of any kind through there, we have to tear down a few dense neighborhoods to get it in. if it were around a freeway, we don't have to tear anything down. just gotta built rail along the median/underground/or overhead.

seams like the region will face a bigger problem by widening freeways instead of just growing up into a real PLACE.
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 06:23 AM   #9
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They really need to do that. It takes 1 hour to get past that part and it's so sad having 12 lanes in OC going to 6 lanes in LA
but they should build light rail to it's just they really need to do that also. It's rediculous!
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 10:23 AM   #10
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I'm not a big fan of trains going down the median. For the person traveling it is way too noisy, unhealthy and just ugly. I think the Blue, coming Expo and Gold are my favorite examples of Light Rail as opposed to the Green which goes down the 105. The former cut through neighborhoods and truly becomes a community train. The TOD that is literally being built around the Gold Line at the Sierra Madre stop in Pasadena couldn't be pulled off if the Gold Line went down the center of the 110. No matter what they say about its speed or alignment, that train is creating communities around it. I counted 4 more TOD's just starting construction around the little train that couldn't.
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 09:08 PM   #11
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why cant they be hermetically sealed. with big umbilical cord style train to station connections! that would be nuts!
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 09:37 PM   #12
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i agree the green line is ugly. it's the wires overhead and the design of the cars in my opinion. traffic? you could hear traffic as a pedestrian or in a car anywhere you go, it shouldn't bother anyone in los angeles these days.

it's great to have those community trains, i really love those. the median idea with a different kind of rail without overhead wires would be great for relieving freeway traffic is all.

if it's not going to be a train to relieve the freeways, it's going to be more lanes.
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 09:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by godblessbotox
why cant they be hermetically sealed. with big umbilical cord style train to station connections! that would be nuts!
sorry if it's a lame question, but what is that exactly?
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