The 405 Expansion Plan.


The latest push to widen the 405, create car pool lanes, and help alleviate the constant congestion on the San Diego Freeway is desperately overdue. The $1 Billion dollar project is being pushed by Mayor Villaraigosa and Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. But is the idea a good solution?

A carpool lane from Orange County to the Northern tip of the San Fernando Valley is part of the plan. Hybrid cars, whose numbers are increasing daily, would be allowed inside the carpool roadway, even with a single driver.

But the whole idea of how the expansion is to be built is shortsighted. There is no plan, for example, to build a train or monorail across the Sepulveda Pass. The pass area itself has been denatured with the massive Getty and Skirball complexes ruining one of the loveliest isolated areas within metropolitan Los Angeles.

The congestion on the West Side is partially due to the monstrous expansion of Playa Vista and the Olympic Boulevard entertainment industry without any addition of light rail or monorail systems. We have the strange phenomenon of hipster liberals, (usually named “Zoe” “Alexa” “Lucas” or “Josh”) who are opponents of global warming. Yet there they are, sitting in traffic in their SUV’s, Priuses and Mini-Coops… on their way to edit documentaries about global warming.

It is all fine and popular for politicians to appeal to the wealthiest and most educated section of Los Angeles by promising “relief” but the shortsighted schemes they propose are without imagination or daring. They are simply a continuation of the same old lifestyle, for just a billion more.

5 thoughts on “The 405 Expansion Plan.

  1. You also need to understand that the 405 is a victim of not enough freeways not too many.

    Rob Dog – seriously? That sounds like total hogwash to me.

    If we build more car-only roads, and more car-only transportation infrastructure, and we focus on car-only culture – then guess what? We get a car-only future!

    If we build for other modes of transportation – then we get other modes of transportation. I am not referring to buses and trains.

    Pedestrian life on our streets, and the ability to safely bicycle from one place to another – these are the hallmarks of a successful city. These modes of transport cost next to nothing compared to this bloated superhighway project. Yet, they provide us with so much: the same capacity to move people on our road network, better foot traffic in business areas, less noise, less pollution, and fewer traffic collisions.

    More freeways = more traffic!

    Check out this film, to see where I am coming from

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  2. Ntutak wrote:
    A north/south metroline (train/monorail, whatever) somewhat along the 405 would be a huge boost to the metro system.

    No doubt about it.

    The problem is that no one has organized to call for a Sepulveda Pass Transit Major Investment Study. And, relief does not necessarily have to come in the form of rails.

    The 405 could also have a successful Transitway. Think of the Harbor Transitway, except with people actually using it. (People use the El Monte Busway, astonishingly well, but there are only two freeway stops, so the analogy is lost).

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  3. “Try this from another perspective: If the Gold Line were massively crowded would you claim we needed more freeway7s? Why then if the 405 is near gridlock would you say transit is the solution?”

    If the Gold Line were massively crowded, then we would either add more trains or build another line.

    One train carries hundreds of people. That compares to 100 cars to carry 1oo people!

    We need more freeways like we need more parking lots or more smog. We don’t.

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  4. As someone who commutes from the Northern San Fernando Valley to Century City every day, I agree. If you look at the present and planned metro system for the L.A. area it is extremely downtown-centric. This single biggest flaw in this thinking is the sepulveda pass. A north/south metroline (train/monorail, whatever) somewhat along the 405 would be a huge boost to the metro system.

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  5. Andrew,
    Are you old enough to remember that traffic was worse Santa Monica to El Segundo in 1983 than it is now? This before Playa Vista.

    Wanting and advocating for transit is fine but you need to understand congestion relief is not one of the reasons.

    You also need to understand that the 405 is a victim of not enough freeways not too many. Most of the unbuilt portions of the original freeway plan would have relieved the Sep Pass.

    Try this from another perspective: If the Gold Line were massively crowded would you claim we needed more freeway7s? Why then if the 405 is near gridlock would you say transit is the solution?

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