Metro officials answer your questions about upcoming 405 closure

Metro officials participate in today's online chat: from left at the keyboard are K.N. Murthy, community relations manager Yvette Rapose and Doug Failing. Photo by Juan Ocampo/Metro.

Metro held a live chat this afternoon to area residents a chance to quiz two agency officials — Doug Failing, the Executive Director of Highway Programs, and Krishniah Murthy, Executive Director of Transit Project Delivery — about the July 16-17 weekend closure of the 405 over the Sepulveda Pass.

If this is the first you’re hearing of it, welcome back to Earth! And the Dodgers are doing great!

The entire chat transcript is online here. Below are a few choice questions and answers I thought may most interest readers:

Chat Participant: It’s easy to understand the impact the closing will have on the 405, 10, 101, and PCH. Can you share your predictions for the potential impact upon freeways that are not directly connected to the area involved – e.g. the 110, 105 and 5? Thank you. Hamilton Cloud, office of Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Doug: In general, all the freeway routes in Los Angeles will experience much higher volume and on some selected routes a great deal more congestion during this weekend. The routes close to central business district (5, 10, 60, 101, 110 and 210) will experience the most congestion since these are the closest routes to the project area. The idea of staying home and shopping locally isn’t just for the Westside and San Fernando Valley. It’s really going to take all of us Angelenos working together (downtown, South Bay, San Gabriel Valley and Gateway Cities area) by staying home and shopping locally to keep our region moving. Some of us can’t stay home but most of us can. We should.

Chat participant: Why can’t you leave one lane open in each direction?

Murthy: Because the potential for falling debris landing on the freeway below creates dangerous conditions for motorists. That’s why we’re lining the freeway with several feet of dirt — to cushion the falling debris, so that the freeway below isn’t damaged.

Chat Participant: I’d like to encourage offering free rides on the 761. As someone else mentioned it is a rapid transit line that connects the Valley to the Westside. Metro should use the 405 closure as an opportunity to introduce Angelenos to transportation alternatives! Thanks for the chat.

Doug: Our Board has directed us to take a look at a number of bus lines, 761 is one of them.  As staff continue to evaluate which lines will be free, they will be posted on our website.  Please check back often at www.metro.net/405.

Chat Participant: Why did you choose to close the 405 just when tens of thousands of people would want to head to the beach in the middle of July — and what are such folks supposed to do if they still want to get to the beach without going crazy? – Ajay Singh

Doug: We are communicating early so that people who want to go to the beach can plan ahead or go a different weekend.  This first closure is during the summer.  And although there is a bit more traffic during the summer, these trips are also discretionary and there is flexibility in these trips.  We also coordinated with the local schools along the Mulholland Corridor and to reduce the congestion it was well timed to schedule during summer vacation.

6 replies

  1. Art Leahy has the authority after the last board meeting to make the Rapid 761 free for the weekend. He should just do, now!

    Also one thing that do not come up in the chat is a way to give the 761 traffic priority though the pass. Is someone evaluating that possibility?

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  2. the 761 is so slow even when there is no traffic. I hope the 761 will have exclusive bus lane when the carpool is complete. heck a direct/express link from Sepulveda and Ventura to Wilshire and westwood would be AWESOME!. CARS ARE CANCER in our cities!

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  3. “…by staying home and shopping locally to keep our region moving. Some of us can’t stay home but most of us can. We should.” The message really should be more like “… that is unless you plan on using mass transit as a means of getting around that weekend. Then by all means, please do.”

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  4. To clarify “please do” means it should say “please do use transit, we encourage it.”

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  5. Why not just make all Metro bus and rail free for the entire weekend? Too much hair splitting right now (the blue line is free but only to the Red; some bus is free, some isn’t, some is a maybe (761). Why can’t the fare be taken off systemwide for that weekend.

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