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MTA considering more freeway toll lanes to reduce congestion [Updated]


Advancing their experiment with toll roads, Los Angeles County transportation officials are considering more projects for local highways -- including a freeway on the Westside -- that would allow solo motorists to pay to use carpool lanes.

A preliminary study by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has recommended five locations that should be explored further for the installation of high-occupancy toll lanes, or HOT lanes. The MTA's ad hoc congestion-pricing committee is set to discuss the matter on Wednesday.

Officials said the highways demonstrating strong potential for the conversion to HOT lanes, include:

    -- Interstate 105 between I-405 and I-605.
    -- The 405 from the 105 to I-5 north of Los Angeles International Airport.
    -- State Route 91 from the 110 Freeway to the Orange County line.
    -- State Route 57 from State Route 60 to the Orange County line.
    -- I-10 between the 605 and the San Bernardino County Line.

Caltrans and the MTA are now converting existing carpool lanes to HOT lanes on 14 miles of I-10 from Alameda Street to the 605 and on 11 miles of the 110 from Adams Boulevard to the Artesia Transit Center at 182nd Street. It is the county's first venture into congestion-based pricing -- tolls that are set higher or lower in direct relation to traffic volume.

The demonstration project, which will be evaluated to see if congestion is indeed reduced, has received a $210.6-million federal grant. Some of the money will go to improving bus service along the 10 and 110. The project is expected to be completed in 2012.

[For the record at 1:27 p.m.: An earlier version of this post stated that the project is expected to be completed later this year or in early 2011. Officials now say it is to be completed in 2012.]


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-- Dan Weikel

Photo: Toll Lanes on 91 Freeway in Orange County. Credit: L.A. Times.

Comments () | Archives (42)

Ridiculous! I agree with ergie. I remember the 105 being built and now they want to charge us to use it in addition to what they already get fom us? This isn't the way to solve traffic problems, just to keep us financially burdened.

They need the money to pay for their current salary and their future retirement.

turn the 405 through the Sepulveda Pass into a Toll Road and you could pay off the national debt!!

I like the idea! Last time they added lanes to all the freeways, everyone just moved further out (Thousand Oaks, Moreno Valley, Palmdale, etc) and within a year traffic was just as bad, but pollution was much worse. As long as freeways are free, they will be overcrowded, polluting, city-dividing eyesores. Putting public money into subsidizing public transportation makes much more sense....

So, once again wealthy folks get to go to the front of the line. This won't improve traffic. It's just going to squeeze more people into the regular existing lanes. We'll creep along as usual. The "haves" will fly by in the toll HOV lane. For those that say this is going to change people's driving behavior - it won't. We're all out on the freeways during morning/evening rush hour because....big surprise....we all freakin' work. When this toll HOV lane goes in, guess what, we'll all still have to work. You think this will encourage people to take public transit? Heck no. We don't have viable public transit!! No one is going to take a 2 hour train ride that they could drive in 30 minutes. Whose brilliant ideas are these? Ridiculous.

I use the 105 between the 405 and 605 five days a week. The carpool lane is stopped just as completely as the other ones. This suggestion is useless.

another entitled to rich businesses to build and reap the benefits of taxpayers money. What a joke and ridiculous idea. Will do nothing to get 1 more vehicle off the road and ease congestion - only give more money to big business.

Why not put the same money into a rail line?

More taxes headed your way folks.

Why do they call themselves Metropolitan Transportation Authority? Are they the one with the Authority like the Bell City Managers? Are they not suppose to serve the commuters and taxpayer instead of imposing authority on us?

Well well well, Brown isn't even in office yet and the gang is ready with the toll booths, I remember paying Gov. Brown's toll booth in Griffith Park, soon we'll be pay tolls all over town

Ed. C.

That would be great if LA was more like London and had good mass transit. Don't put your cart before the horse.

Wasn't the carpool lane designed to reward us for carpooling!!!!!!!!?? Now they are charging us to use the FREEways we were already taxed on.

Face it folks. If they go ahead with these plans is probably likely they will want to go with it permantly and never go back even if it is shown it does not reduce freeway congestion. Public official once they get their hands on our money don't like giving it up. They want more and more money from the taxpayers and generl public to continue to maintain their overly inflated public employee salaries and benefits.

Yes yes yes!!! Shortages of anything are a sign that they are underpriced. There is a shortage of freeway capacity so let's allocate it the American way by pricing the high demand times. This will help anyone who is in a hurry, from the gardener in the little truck trying to make it to his last job to the student late for class. Those who don't need to be at the freeway at that time can change their behavior for people who do need to be on the freeway. Wasted time is a lost resource. Freeway tolls can go for transit or other public goods. Our taxes paid for the freeways, but not a quick drive. We have to do this!

---What a scumbag why should we be constantly taxed and charged fees for everything!!!!

If the tolls will benefit the people, YES! Every other major city in the US has it. We've just been spoiled.

A lane with congestion pricing will handle more traffic during peak periods than one without. The congestion pricing keeps speeds higher, so more cars can travel along a stretch of highway in a fixed amount of time than in the standard lanes.

Only the MTA can make traffic worse while claiming to fix the problem.

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