O.C. seeking solutions to 55 Freeway gridlock
Costa Mesa officials are beginning a project study aimed at relieving gridlock where the 55 Freeway ends on Newport Boulevard.
The report will examine various proposed solutions and look at the project’s effect on local businesses and residents, according to the Daily Pilot. Costa Mesa took on the expansion project more than a year ago.
“A lot of people think traffic is good for business, but too much traffic and congested traffic is not good for business,” Peter Naghavi, Costa Mesa’s director of public services, said. “If I’m a loyal customer near there and it takes me half an hour to get there every time, I’m going to find another place where there isn’t too much traffic.”
About 100,000 cars unload from the southbound 55 Freeway onto Newport Boulevard daily, with about half going to local destinations and the other half traveling to Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and other cities, Naghavi said.
Although there are seven lanes, they are not enough to prevent jams because the street eventually narrows. The city attempted to help the situation by adding more lanes, but that relieved traffic by about 33%, Naghavi said.
-- Mona Shadia
Photo credit: Daily Pilot