As many of you know, Metro is already in the process of converting HOV lanes on parts of the 10 and 110 freeways into congestion pricing toll lanes.
The project’s official name is ExpressLanes and the idea is to give motorists a chance to speed up their commutes by paying to use the carpool lanes while also allowing most of those who already use the lanes for free to continue to do so.
As part of that effort, Metro also commissioned a study on whether it may be feasible to convert carpool lanes on other freeways into congestion pricing lanes. The study is going to be discussed in the Metro Board of Directors’ ad hoc congestion pricing committee on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at Metro headquarters in downtown Los Angeles.
Here’s the key paragraphs of the study:
The Study analyzed six factors:
•Capacity of Existing HOV segments (includes under utilization and over utilization).
•Constructability (includes availability of full standard shoulders and lanes, rightof-way constraints,topography, cut/viaduct section, and presence of rail/light rail tracks or major above-ground utilities adjacent to the HOV facility).
•Connectivity to HOV and Express Lane facilities.
•Transit Benefits (includes potential to improve transit services in corridor).
Key Study findings are as follows:
•Constructability: SR60 (Brea Canyon Road to Azusa Avenue) rated the highest for ease of constructability. Followed by 1-105, SR14, and SR57. These facilities have the preponderance of standard land and shoulder widths, available right-of-way, flat topography, at-grade segments, and minimal interference with utilities and rights-of-way. Five HOV facilities rated medium in this category: I-5, I-210, I-405 north of LAX, I-405 South, and SR60 (SR57-SR71).
•Revenue Potential: 1-405 North of LAX rated the highest for revenue generating potential. Four HOV facilities rated medium in this category: 1-105, 1-210, SR14, and SR91.
•Connectivity: I-605 rated the highest in this category, followed by I-5, and I-105.
•Transit Benefits: I-5 rated the highest in this category, followed by I-10, and I-405 north of LAX.
Based on the Study findings, the following HOV facilities would appear to demonstrate comparatively strong potential for HOT conversion and would be recommended for further assessment in the event additional studies are undertaken in Los Angeles County:
•I-105, from 1-405 to 1-605.
•I-405, from 1-105 to 1-5 north of LAX.
•SR91, from 1-1 10 to the Orange County Line.
•SR57, from SR60 to the Orange County Line.
•Additional consideration may also be warranted for the I-10 between 1-605 and the San Bernardino County Line.
It should be noted that these assessments have been prepared at a preliminary sketch level and that more detailed implementation feasibility assessments, including formal public outreach, would be required should any candidate corridors be advanced from further consideration for a possible HOV to HOT conversion.
Something for everyone in reader-land to keep in mind. The ExpressLanes project is being funded largely by the federal government as a one-year trial to see if the congestion pricing lanes will work. I think it’s unlikely any future projects will be taken on until the results of this one are known and the ExpressLanes aren’t due to open until 2012 at the earliest.