Public comment period extended through Oct. 1 for I-405 Sepulveda ExpressLanes project

Metro is extending the comment period on the I-405 Sepulveda Pass ExpressLanes project from 30 days to 60 days, through October 1, 2021, to allow more time for the public to submit their scoping comments.

The project proposes to build ExpressLanes on the 405 between the 10 and 101 freeways. More below on the project alternatives that will be studied.

Also, a friendly reminder: there is a virtual meeting on the project tonight (Tuesday, Aug. 17) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and another virtual meeting tomorrow (Wednesday, Aug. 18) from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. See the details below on how to join the meetings from your computer or smartphone.

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 email: 405expresslanes@metro.net

By phone: 213.922.4860

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 Scoping Comment

Storymap with graphics and text on the project

Here is the Source post from earlier this month on the beginning of environmental studies for the project:  

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 email: 405expresslanes@metro.net

By phone: 213.922.4860

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 Scoping Comment

Storymap with graphics and text on the project

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.

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_G6Fzld1zSqy-SUPdWK7eAw

ID: 948 4124 4717

Passcode: 807271

Call-in: 213-338-8477

Tuesday, August 17, 2021, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eRj-fBEpQu6RHWlyyi8Ukg

ID: 926 0660 7560

Passcode: 114859

Call-in: 213-338-8477

Wednesday, August 18, 2021, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_MhCrI70kS4aND7iee4CHtQ

ID: 964 9534 8721

Passcode: 059906

Call-in: 213-338-8477

8 replies

    • Hi James;

      The project would obviously cost money to build and Measure M provides $260 million in funding. Although tolls do generate revenue that’s not the motivator for these kind of projects — rather it’s to use tolls and HOV requirements to manage traffic and keep vehicles moving.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  1. More highway expansions, brought to you by the same folks who are supposed to encourage transit use! Great waste of money, delaying a rapid transit alternative so we can add more asphalt and traffic!

    • Unfortunately Metro is also put in charge of both highway AND transit projects. I’m guessing this is a California problem rather than just LA simply saying let’s combine both.

      Clearly this is a conflict of interest no matter how government agents try to spin this. Let caltrans take care of highways, and let the county Metros take care of transit PERIOD. Don’t combine both.

      • Hi Dave;

        Metro is the transportation planning and funding agency for L.A. County and that means we help fund and build a variety of mobility projects — ranging from transit to highways to local roads to bike lanes to pedestrian improvements. And that means that we work with Caltrans on the highway projects. I understand why that can be viewed as a conflict of interest, but I don’t think that’s the case. The reality is that mobility in our region depends on a menu of ways to get around, including driving. And this: Metro’s J Line, as well as other buses (such as the FlyAway bus to LAX) uses freeways and the ExpressLanes on the 110.

        Obviously, it remains to be seen how this project plays out but I don’t view it as purely a highways project — it could certainly involve transit.

        Steve Hymon
        Editor, The Source

  2. Questioning the proposed start and end points of the toll portions.

    Going northbound, the 405 constantly bottlenecks before the 10 with one lane ending between Palms and National Blvds. Wouldn’t carpool drivers not wanting to pay the toll cause additional backups here with merging into the leftmost general purpose lane?

    Approaching the 101, the 405N has a severe downhill grade. Once the toll portion ends, the potential for slow moving traffic to merge into a lane with vehicles potentially moving much faster could be a recipe for disaster.

    Going southbound, there’s already reduced lanes under the 101 in Sherman Oaks. The toll portion would have to begin well prior to Burbank Blvd.

    I’m fairly confident that any proposal that includes land acquisition is dead in the water. The freeway from just below Getty Center till about Wilshire has little-to-no room for expansion. The Church Lane neighborhood has consistently given up homes and access to the freeway for over 30 years. On the eastern side, the retaining walls already abut Sepulveda Blvd. Underneath the 10, the width of the 405 already stretches to the support columns.

    So, with all this mind, in a rare occurrence, the best option is the no-build. Why should there be toll lanes between 2 freeways (10 and 101) that have no plans to even have HOV lanes?

  3. Yeh just think if they stopped wasting time studying the monorail and pouring yet another lane that will be clogged the minute it opens and put that into whatever is already in the budget for the subway line from Van Nuys to Expo. Maybe we get it done before the Olympics, because right now, I am doubtful it will be built by then.

  4. We’ve already paid for the freeway. I’m against spending more money for lanes I would have to spend even more money to use. We need a transit corridor over the Sepulveda Pass. Run Metro buses that connect the Orange Line to the Westside until a rail system is finished.