Jamzilla update #2, 5:40 p.m. Saturday

405Above is a look at traffic on the northbound 405 about 5:15 p.m. this afternoon according to Google maps. Motorists are experiencing some delays, but it’s not as bad as it could be if traffic was as heavy as usual.

Only two lanes remain open on the northbound side of the freeway through the Sepulveda Pass and a full closure of the northbound lanes is scheduled for tonight from 2 a.m. until 7 a.m. Sunday.

Because of traffic and safety concerns, both connectors from the 10 freeway to the northbound 405 will remain closed for the remainder of Jamzilla closures.

Again, the message remains the same: please avoid driving on the northbound side of the 405 through this holiday weekend. The freeway can only handle about a third of its normal traffic load when only two lanes are open. Click here to see the full schedule of closures this weekend.

Repaving work remains on schedule. The I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project is providing frequent updates on its Twitter feed. The project is adding a northbound HOV lane to the 405 between the 10 and 101 freeways to match the existing lane on the southbound side of the freeway.

A few photos of work are below:

Jamzilla update #1, 8:30 a.m. Saturday

As we’ve been preaching, begging and imploring, please avoid the northbound 405 freeway today in the Sepulveda Pass area with repaving work now underway.

The 405 over the pass simply can not handle the usual amount of heavy traffic that it sees on a normal Saturday — when everyone is out running errands, etc. To avoid a big traffic mess this afternoon, please just stay away.

As of 8:30 a.m., here’s a look at traffic on Google Maps: 

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 8.29.17 AM

And a photo taken earlier when traffic was still light — the northbound lanes are the near ones:

Photo by Dave Sotero/Metro.

Photo by Dave Sotero/Metro.

More on the Jamzilla 80-hour northbound closures are here. We’ll be providing updates throughout the weekend.

This it it, people: Jamzilla 80-hour closure of northbound 405 lanes begins late Friday; officials ask for motorists to avoid 405 this weeekend

Map2

Map5

Photo by Dave Sotero/Metro.

Photo by Dave Sotero/Metro.

Lane closures begin late Friday evening and a complete closure of the NORTHBOUND 405 will be achieved by 1 a.m. from Getty Center Drive to Ventura Boulevard. Only two northbound lanes will be open during daylight hours on Saturday, Sunday and Monday and a 65 percent reduction in traffic is needed to avoid serious gridlock.

MOTORISTS ARE ASKED TO AVOID THE AREA IF POSSIBLE!!!! ESPECIALLY DURING THE DAY WHEN THE NORTHBOUND 405’S CAPACITY WILL BE LESS THAN HALF AS USUAL!!!! 

Officials again asked the public to avoid the 405 and Sepulveda Pass area this weekend at a news conference Friday afternoon at Caltrans' Traffic Management Center. Photo by Dave Sotero/Metro.

Officials again asked the public to avoid the 405 and Sepulveda Pass area this weekend at a news conference Friday afternoon at Caltrans’ Traffic Management Center. Photo by Dave Sotero/Metro.

The 80-hour lane closures — which end Tuesday morning — are being done for repaving work on the northbound side of the freeway. Most of the work until now has been on the sides of the freeways, on the freeway ramps or the bridges above the 405. This work is being done on the freeway itself and is necessary to complete the project — which is expected to be done by this summer.

The I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project is adding a northbound HOV lane between the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10) and the Ventura Freeway (I-101). The southbound 405 already has an HOV lane. When completed, the 405 will have HOV lanes in both directions from the northern San Fernando Valley to the Orange County line (click here to see a map of HOV lanes in L.A. County).

Here is the closure area for Jamzilla weekend:

I405-80HrClosure_map

The traffic maps and photo at the top of this post are from Saturday, March 2 of 2013 — a day when three lanes on the northbound I-405 were closed between Montana Avenue and the Getty Center off-ramp for construction work on the 405 northbound carpool lane project. 

While traffic in L.A. is usually a bear on Saturdays, it was especially grizzly on that Saturday. The problem, in short: not enough motorists heeded warnings to avoid the northbound 405, thereby backing up traffic to Marina del Rey by 2 p.m. and well beyond later in the day.

Thus, the reason Metro is harping on the upcoming Jamzilla northbound lane closures that begin late Friday night and run until Tuesday morning. The message, again and sweet and short: please avoid driving on the northbound 405 over the Sepulveda Pass this upcoming weekend.

For more info, here is a roundup of recent posts:

Jamzilla is coming: unprecedented 80-hour closure of northbound 405 freeway lanes on President’s Day weekend

Video from Jamzilla press conference

Jamzilla 405 operation more complex than Carmageddon

Jamzilla countdown clock and banner ads now available

New Jamzilla public service announcement available for public use

Jamzilla video: who you gonna call? 

Transcript from Jamzilla online chat with Metro and Caltrans officials

Upcoming Service Advisories: Jamzilla, Wilshire/Grand cement pouring to detour various buses

Demolition of the old Wilshire/Grand Hotel, 2013, via Wikipedia.

Demolition of the old Wilshire/Grand Hotel, 2013, via Wikipedia.

Bus riders beware: unfortunately, you too may experience the wrath of Jamzilla.

The 80-hour closure/lane reduction on the I-405 North begins this evening and will likely take a toll on some Metro Bus routes due to increased traffic on surface streets in the area. Customers taking Lines 2, 4, or 20, or Metro Rapid 704, 761, or 720, or Late Night 233 should allow extra travel time to make up for probable delays due to traffic congestion.

Meanwhile, in downtown Los Angeles, the world’s largest continual concrete pour — part of construction for the new Wilshire/Grand building — will cause detours on Metro Bus Lines 20, 51, 52, 60, 460, 487, and Metro Silver Line from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, Feb 15-16.

Detours will take place at Figueroa between 7th Street and 9th Street, 7th Street between Flower Street and Bixel Street and Wilshire Boulevard between Flower Street and Bixel Street. Additional information regarding the specific detours for each line can be found here.

For what it’s worth, when construction is complete, Los Angeles will have bolstered its claim to the tallest building West of the Mississippi (a title currently held by the U.S. Bank Tower). Then look out New York, we’re coming for you.

For up-to-the-minute status updates, follow Metro on Twitter @metrolosangeles or @metroLAalerts.

For GPS-based bus and train arrival times, consult Metro’s Nextrip service.


A look at proposed bus service changes that would better connect the San Fernando Valley and the Westside

As some of you already know, Metro’s Service Councils this month are holding public hearings on proposed bus service changes to take effect in June.

The above staff report details all the changes, including maps of proposed bus routes.

Perhaps the most interesting changes proposed involve bus routes in the San Fernando Valley, including:

•The creation of a new 588 bus that would operate at peak hours that would run between Westwood and Nordhoff Street, mostly along the 405 freeway and Van Nuys Boulevard. This new line still requires funding.

Click above to see larger.

Click above to see larger.

•Extending the 734 Rapid Bus to Westwood via Sepulveda Boulevard, thereby creating a bus line that would run from Sylmar to Westwood.

Click above to see larger.

Click above to see larger.

•Combining the 741 and 761 Rapid Bus lines to create a U-shaped Rapid Bus line in the Valley that would run between

Click above to see larger.

Click above to see larger.

Of course, better connecting the Valley and the Los Angeles basin has long been a challenge for mass transit in Los Angeles County, owing to the barrier that is the Santa Monica Mountains. The Red Line does run between North Hollywood and Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, but that doesn’t really help connect the Valley to the Westside.

Metrolink also offers two commuter rail lines between the Valley and downtown L.A., but that has two sets of challenges: 1) expense and frequency of service, and; 2) also no service to the Westside.

One of the projects designated for Measure R funding is the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor, which aims to connect the Valley and Westside, with a study area that runs from Sylmar all the way to Los Angeles International Airport. A rail tunnel is among the options identified during early studies although that will need more than the $1 billion supplied by Measure R. Also being considered is a public-private partnership to supply more funding.

In the meantime, Metro is trying to find the best way to connect the Valley to the Westside via bus service. The 588 proposal is interesting because it would take advantage of the new northbound HOV lane that is being built on the 405 as part of the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project that is scheduled for completion this summer. Metro’s current 761 Rapid Bus doesn’t use the freeway — it only runs along Sepulveda Boulevard.

The SFV Service Council held a public hearing to receive public comments on these proposed bus service modifications last Wednesday, as well as a hearing at the Metro Gateway Building on Saturday.

A total of 26 people provided comments. There will be three more public hearings held this week; tonight at the San Gabriel Valley Service Council in El Monte at 6 p.m., Westside/Central in Beverly Hills at 5 p.m. on Wednesday (Feb. 12) and Gateway Cities in Huntington Park at 6 p.m on Thursday (Feb. 13). More on meeting locations here.

Please check the metro.net for details on the location and public transit options. Interested persons can also provide their comments on these proposed changes thru Friday, February 14 via Metro Customer RelationsThe Metro Board of Directors are scheduled to consider the changes later this spring.

Upcoming Service Advisory: Allow extra time when riding the Metro Gold Line this Thursday, 9am-12pm

A train makes its way from Fillmore to South Pasadena Station.

A train makes its way from Fillmore Station to South Pasadena. Photo by Andy Walker via Flickr Creative Commons.

This Thursday, Feb. 6, the Metro Gold Line will experience delays from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. due to track inspection activities between South Pasadena and Fillmore stations.

To complete the inspection, maintenance personnel must enter the tracks, and trains will need to wait for an “all clear” before traveling through the area. As a result, there will be some service delays. Customers planning to take the Gold Line this Thursday should allow extra time if riding during the aforementioned hours.

Please be advised, Nextrip may not accurately predict train arrivals during the inspection.

For up-to-the-minute Gold Line status updates, follow Metro on Twitter @metrolosangeles or @metroLAalerts.

8 days left before Jamzilla…who you gonna call?

Disclaimer: the above video is a dramatization. Actually calling 511 may result in a different experience.

Southern California 511 – the free traveler information service that provides traffic updates via phone or web – has launched a new feature to keep Southern California drivers up to date during Jamzilla, the 80-hour paving operation scheduled for Presidents’ Day Weekend, Feb. 14-18 in the Sepulveda Pass.

Call 511 on your phone or smart phone during President’s Day Weekend and, after the automated answer, say “Jamzilla” to receive information on the I-405 closure or say “traffic” to receive frequently updated information on traffic on nearby freeways that feed into the Sepulveda Pass area. Updates will include freeway traffic drive times, freeway speeds and SigAlerts. Similar information will appear on the website go511.com, which also includes a real-time traffic map.

P.S. Don’t forget about the Jamzilla live chat scheduled for this Friday! We promise, no roaring over the keyboard.