UPDATE, AUG. 17: Metro is extending the comment period on the I-405 Sepulveda Pass ExpressLanes project from 30 days to 60 days, now through October 1, 2021, to allow more time for the public to submit their scoping comments.
Here’s the original blog post from Aug. 3:
Metro and Caltrans are beginning the scoping process today (Tuesday, Aug. 3) for a key project funded by Measure M: ExpressLanes on the 405 freeway through the Sepulveda Pass.
In government speak, scoping is the first step in the legally required state and federal environmental study process (called CEQA for the state and NEPA on the federal side). The idea of scoping is to identify the purpose and goals of a project, outline project alternatives and determine what should be studied as part of the environmental studies.
The public’s role is to help shape what gets studied by submitting your comments during the scoping period — we’re particularly interested in your views on mobility in this corridor and what could be improved. Here’s how to submit your comments:
Online Comment Form: 405EXPcomments.com
By mail: Ronald Kosinski, Deputy District Director
California Department of Transportation
Division of Environmental Planning
100 S. Main Street – MS 16A
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Regarding: Sepulveda Pass ExpressLanes project scoping comment
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By phone: 213.922.4860
Some background on the project: the Metro ExpressLanes debuted on the 110 and 10 freeways in 2012 and 2013 and have proven to be very popular with motorists who want to avoid traffic jams and want more reliable commutes time-wise. ExpressLanes allow those meeting occupancy requirements and with a device called a transponder (the rules for the 10 and 110 are here) to travel for free, while also providing single occupant vehicles the option to pay a toll to use the lane. The idea is to use carpooling and tolls to limit the number of vehicles in the ExpressLanes, thus producing higher speeds.
This project has $260 million in funding from Measure M, the local sales tax passed by LA County voters in 2016. Additional funding sources will be explored as the project advances through the project development process. The ExpressLanes complement another project that was also part of Measure M: the Sepulveda Transit Corridor, which is a rail line or monorail that will run between the San Fernando Valley, the Westside and eventually LAX.
The 405 ExpressLanes project is proposed for the 14 miles of the 405 between the 10 and 101 freeways. There are five proposed alternatives:
•Alternative 1: The no build option.
•Alternative 2: Convert the HOV lanes on the 405 to one ExpressLane in each direction.
•Alternative 3: Convert the HOV lanes on the 405 to two ExpressLanes of non-standard lane widths in each direction.
•Alternative 4: Convert the HOV lanes on the 405 to two ExpressLanes of standard lane widths in each direction.
•Alternative 5: Add a second HOV Lane to the 405 in both directions of non-standard lane and shoulder widths.
It’s important to note that the goal of the project is to maximize any improvements to within the freeway’s existing right-of-way to avoid impacts to private properties.
As many of you know all too well, traffic in the Sepulveda Pass is notoriously terrible — in fact, the area suffers some of the worst traffic in the United States. This is the reason that Metro has several projects that could potentially provide some relief. The I-405 Multi-Modal Corridor Plan may identify additional improvements to improve mobility in the area. And Metro’s Traffic Reduction Study is looking for areas in L.A. County to test congestion pricing — i.e. using tolls and other high-quality mobility improvements to reduce traffic.
Three virtual meetings are also scheduled for later this month to learn more about the project and the environmental process.
The meetings will be held:
Saturday, August 14, 2021, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
ID: 948 4124 4717
Tuesday, August 17, 2021, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
ID: 926 0660 7560
Wednesday, August 18, 2021, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
ID: 964 9534 8721