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.