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Worst freeways in Southern California? Planners have a fix-it list

September 22, 2009 |  7:52 am

Rearview Mirror

There is little debate that Southern California's freeways are in need of help.

But one transportation group has put together a list of which freeways need the most TLC. The freeway projects were included in a list of 21 "must-do" transportation projects at the Eighth Annual Southern California Transportation Summit in downtown Los Angeles.

The event was hosted by the organization Mobility 21 and drew dozens of elected officials, including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and business leaders from Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego, Ventura and Riverside counties. Among the projects on the "IMBY" list -- which stands for "In My Back Yard" -- are six aimed directly at reducing congestion.

Villaraigosa said: “We want to accelerate these projects; the opportunity is there, it's going to take a united region.”

Here's the list:

Interstate 10: "One of the most heavily-used trade routes in the nation, the I-10 corridor is also one of the most congested. Among the enhancements planned: I-10 carpool lanes in the San Gabriel Valley, new overpasses at Dale Palm Drive, Indian Avenue and Jefferson Street in the Coachella Valley, Citrus and Cherry Avenue Interchanges in San Bernardino, and addition of a west-bound lane from Yucaipa to Redlands."

Interstate 405: "Several key projects are planned on this corridor including adding up to two lanes in each direction on I-405 from SR-73 to I-605 in Orange County. A carpool lane northbound on the I-405 between the 110 and the 101 also is planned. The goal is to reduce congestion on one of Southern California's most heavily traveled freeways and improve a vital north/south link between Orange County and Los Angeles."

91 Freeway: "Increases capacity, optimizes operations and implements innovative traffic management strategies between Riverside and Orange County, and adds carpool lanes through downtown Riverside between Auto Center Drive and the 60/91/215 Interchange."

U.S.101 / Route 23: "Widens ramps and adds auxiliary lanes to relieve congestion at Ventura County's busiest interchange, SR-101 and SR-23 in Thousand Oaks."

Interstate 215: "Planned improvements to this heavily-traveled Inland Empire corridor include adding a general purpose lane in each direction on I-215 in Murrieta and fixing the worst bottleneck in San Bernardino County, the Devore Interchange, where the I-15 and I-215 meet. Complementing the highway improvements will be the Perris Valley Line extension of Metrolink services in Riverside County."

Interstate 5: "Adds carpool lanes south from I-605 to the Orange County line and north from SR-134 to SR-170." 

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz

Photo: Drivers stuck in traffic along the 10 Freeway can see the 215 Freeway interchange and layers of connector roads behind them in Riverside. Credit: Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times