A message sign on the southbound 5 freeway, north of Santa Clarita. Photo by Dave Sotero/Metro.
The closure of the 405 over the Sepulveda Pass will begin late Friday, July 15, and continue until early morning on Monday, July 18. Here’s the news release about the signs from Metro:
Sixty-four Changeable Message Signs (CMS) located on most Los Angeles County freeways began displaying information about the upcoming closure of the San Diego Freeway (I-405) over the weekend of July 16-17.
The closure is necessary to replace the Mulholland Bridge as part of the northbound I-405 HOV lane construction project between the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10) and the Ventura Freeway (U.S. 101). When completed, this project will create a continuous HOV lane in both directions of I-405 in Los Angeles County.
Northbound I-405 will be closed from the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10) to the Ventura Freeway (U.S. 101). Southbound I-405 will be closed from U.S. 101 to Getty Center Drive.
The three choices: 8.7 miles of lanes including the Condo Canyon stretch in Westwood, 7.7 miles of lanes excluding Condo Canyon and 5.4 miles of bus lanes between Beverly’s Hills’ eastern border and just west of downtown L.A. The map above shows the 7.7-mile option approved last month by the Metro Board of Directors.
Here’s a quick Q & A on the vote tomorrow:
Why does the Council agenda recommend that the Council approve all three options?
This is because the five members of the Council’s transportation committee last week couldn’t agree which option to support. Even if they had reached some kind of concord, the final decision always rested with the full Council.
For the record, Council members Richard Alarcon and Bernard Parks voted for the 8.7-mile option, Paul Koretz and Tom LaBonge for the 7.7-mile option and Bill Rosendahl for the 5.4-mile option. It’s worth noting that Koretz also voiced support for the 5.4-mile option, so his vote tomorrow will be interesting to watch.
Construction Authority officials say it threatens the schedule and budget for the project — officials have previously said they could finish it by 2014 and are now saying their goal is early 2015. It is important to note that the Authority is an independent agency that is building the line that Metro will operate upon its completion.
The Foothill Extension will run from the Gold Line’s current terminus in Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border. It is a project funded by the voter-approved Measure R sales tax increase.
This story in the Star News offers the city of Monrovia’s view. Below is an update from Construction Authority CEO Habib Balian:
Over the last few days there has been significant discussion in the media relating to the Construction Authority’s negotiations with the City of Monrovia to purchase 14 acres of city-owned land for the project’s maintenance and operations facility, and third-party challenges to the sale. Today, the Pasadena Star News ran a front page story.
Authority Board Chairman Doug Tessitor submitted the op-ed below today, outlining the challenging circumstances that face us. Continue reading →
Why ask the above question? Because the American Public Transit Assn. recently burped out the pie chart below about ridership on a national level and I was curious how our local numbers might compare.
Here’s one take on the pie chart from the California Transit Assn., which raises some points about how the data was collected from agencies across the country.
I’ll be honest: I’m not entirely sure how to interpret the chart. My two small thoughts are: 1) The chart suggests that riding transit for a majority of riders is an ingrained habit and/or transit riders don’t have a choice, and; 2) There seems to be a healthy influx of new riders — with 30 percent riding continuously for a year or less.
Metro, in fact, posed this question in its 2010 rider survey: “How many years have you been riding Metro?” The answers:
Less than one (13%)
1-2 years (16%)
3-4 years (17%)
5+ years (54%)
I tend to think that these numbers could change greatly once more Measure R transit projects come online and we have more of a regional transit network in place to attract new riders. To name just three, I think projects such as the Westside Subway Extension, the Regional Connector and the Expo Line phase 1 and 2 have the potential to be game-changers in terms of getting people to try transit.
Look at this fun little tool to help remind everyone about the upcoming full closure of the 405 freeway over the Sepulveda Pass beginning late Friday, July 15, until early Monday, July 18 in order to partially demolish the Mulholland Bridge.
You can grab the code for the above widget here if you want to install on your own website.
Here’s a recent news release about the closure and here’s coverage of Monday’s news conference in which public officials begged motorists to plan ahead for the closure and avoid driving in the area.
And here’s the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project website for more info about the project, which is adding a northbound carpool lane to the 405, rebuilding on- and off-ramps to the freeway and widening and making seismic fixes to bridges over the 405.
The Metro Board of Directors last month approved a 7.7-mile Wilshire peak hour bus lane project on portions of Wilshire within the city of Los Angeles.
The City Council’s Transportation Committee discussed the issue for more than two hours this afternoon and split three ways: two Council members (Richard Alarcon and Bernard Parks) backed 8.7 miles of bus lanes, two backed the 7.7-mile option (Paul Koretz and Tom LaBonge) and one (Bill Rosendahl) supported the 5.4-mile option that would have the bus lanes only east of Beverly Hills.
It will ultimately be up to the full 15-member City Council to decide which option the city will support. A discussion and vote is expected to be scheduled soon. (Here’s the project website).
Time is of the essence: Metro, the city of Los Angeles and the County Board of Supervisors have to agree on a Wilshire bus lane project to submit to the Federal Transit Administration within the next several weeks in order to qualify for a $23-million grant to help construct the lanes, rebuild parts of the street and make improvements to traffic signals. The entire project carries an estimated cost of $31.5 million.
As for today’s discussion in Council, many issues were in play that I expect will be talked about more by the full Council. Among them:
•Concerns that the bus lanes on Wilshire between Centinela and the 405 freeway will further hinder an already bad traffic situation. This is an issue that particularly impacts Rosendahl, as this stretch is within his 11th Council district. Continue reading →
Attentive readers know that The Metro Board of Directors voted last month to approve the final environmental report for the Wilshire peak-hour bus lane project, endorsing 7.7 miles of lanes along Wilshire in the city of L.A.
As is often the case in local government, one big vote merely begets another big vote. In this instance, the project also requires two other sets of approvals: one from the city of L.A. and the other from Los Angeles County — as the project will run across city and county land.
The challenge here is to get Metro, the city and the county to all agree to the same 7.7 miles of bus lanes. Do not assume this is necessarily an easy thing to accomplish.
The county seems likely to go along with Metro, as the five County Supervisors also serve on the Metro Board, which voted 11 to 0 for the 7.7-mile option.
The city’s approval process resumes tomorrow afternoon at 2:15 p.m. when the City Council’s transportation committee is set to discuss the issue at City Hall and perhaps vote for a recommendation to the full City Council. The full Council can do whatever it wants with a recommendation — happily accept it or completely chunk it.
It’s not everyday that the mayors of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento and San Jose co-write opinion articles in support of anything. Today, however, that quintet co-authored a piece in the Sacramento Bee supporting the state’s bullet train project which would ultimately link San Diego, Sacramento and the Bay Area.
Finally, there is the matter of where to start building. Many Southern Californians have said we should give priority to their part of the state; same in the Bay Area. We know that this system will never be a success until it connects these two population centers and does so in a way that is sensitive to local concerns. But the question of where to start does not require complicated analysis. The place to start is the place where we’re ready to start, and that’s the Central Valley.
No one thinks we should build the line through the Central Valley and then stop. And we won’t. There is a parallel to the building of the Interstate Highway System more than 50 years ago. When we started building the Interstate Highway System, the first segments to be completed were not in New York or Los Angeles. The interstate was born in the middle of the country, America’s heartland, with the very first sections laid in Kansas and Missouri and then connected to the rest of the nation.
Of course, at the end of the day the biggest obstacle for the project is money. The estimated cost of the first part of the project — linking Anaheim and San Francisco — is $43 billion, the majority of which has yet to be secured.