Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Traffic Nightmare in the Making - VOICE YOUR CONCERN NOW!


Please be advised of the below described 405/Sepulveda construction matters that may result in absolute gridlock along and around Sunset Blvd. starting +/- THIS MAY.  

READ and understand the chain of events and decisions by the DoT / Metro as it is important that we bombard Metro with emails and attend the public meeting voicing our great concern this Thursday.

I-405 Sepulveda Pass Widening Project:

Background:  Our story begins with the failure of a retaining wall near skirball.  We understand the subcontractor was terminated for 
using substandard re-bar, and all their other projects were examined.  This included the wall on the Northeast side of the Sepulveda/Sunset exchange (see picture above) which will now require additional anchoring and thus delay its completion.  This is critical as the Sepulveda/Sunset exchange formally allowed traffic to flow unimpeded onto Sepulveda (and the NB 405/Morgage on-ramp), but now requires - and will continue to require while the wall is being anchored - a stop sign at Sepulveda as such has been shrunk to one lane.  The result is a bottleneck for Westbound Sunset traffic attempting to get on the NB 405 On-ramp at Moraga.  

And now it is going to get MUCH MUCH worse, because. . .

Two of the Wilshire 405 On-ramps are scheduled to be closed for 90 days starting in May (and 90 days may turn into 6 month, etc.)  All cars on Wilshire will thus be diverted NORTH up Sepulveda to the Moraga On-ramp -- adding to the above described bottleneck.

The DoT / Metro plans on "helping" the situation by opening a "temporary" left turn signal (which may become permanent) at the Southerly Westbound lane on the Sunset Bridge to allow cars to cross traffic to access the NB 405 On-Ramp (see picture above).  At the same time Metro plans on closing off Sunset Way.  

Look at the picture above and think about this graphically:

Westbound Sunset is down to two lanes due to the Bridge construction.

The Northerly lane will be backed up by cars lining up to exit on Church Lane for the SB 405 On-ramp.
With the NEW left turn lane on the Sunset Bridge, the Southerly Sunset Lane will be backed up by cars lining up for the NB 405 On-ramp.  
Moreover, the Northerly lane will ALSO be backed up by cars lining up to exit onto Sepulveda - with the bottle-necking Stop Sign - to get to the Moraga NB 405 On-ramp.

There will be NO LANE for through traffic for Westbound Sunset traffic.

Eastbound Sunset is also down to two lanes due to the Bridge construction.
And we know historically that Eastbound traffic is ALREADY a nightmare.  
But now add the additional time needed for a left turn lane arrow signal allowing the above described Southerly Sunset Lane to cross traffic and access the NB 405 On-ramp.  

Eastbound Sunset traffic which is already gridlocked will become even worse!

The likely result of this catastrophe will be a backed up east and westbound Sunset to ends we can not now even comprehend.  

To let Metro know that its plan is not acceptable, we ask each of you to email Metro at the addresses provided below, noting the following suggested points:

DELAY the Wilshire On-ramp Closures until (1) the Sunset Bridge is FINISHED and there will be more lanes to allow for through traffic,  and (2) the Sunset / Sepulveda STOP SIGN is removed allowing greater car volume to flow onto Sepulveda to access the Sepulveda/Moraga NB 405 On-ramp.


2.  Request that the Wilshire ramps be closed only after all schools are out for the summer, including UCLA.  

3.  Diverting traffic off Sepulveda onto Sunset is going to create more traffic, more accidents, and less accessibility and greater difficulty for all area residents, whether traveling to and from work or engagin in their daily activities.   

4.  Increased traffic along Sunset from both the West and the East will create potential safety issues due to people getting frustrated, stuck and road rage.

5.  It is inappropriate to divert traffic into a construction zone, rather than divert around it.

6.  Mention that since Sepulveda has been narrowed to one lane it takes a long while to access Sepulveda to get to the NB 405 On-ramp at Moraga.  This delay will increase during the Wilshire ramp closure as Sepulveda's traffic will balloon .

Send your emails to the following people:

Olga Arroya - ARROYOO@metro.net

Mark Van Gessel - vangesselm@metro.net

Kasey Shuda - ShudaK@metro.net

Please CC the following:

Norm Kulla - norman.kulla@lacity.org

Vivian Rascalvo - VRescalvo@bos.lacounty.gov

Ellen Isaacs - ellen.isaacs@asm.ca.gov

Jay Greenstein -   jay.greenstein@lacity.org 

NOTE that Metro is having a public community meeting this Thursday, March 22, 2012 from 6  to 8 pm at Westwood Recreation Center, 1350 S. Sepulveda Blvd  that will cover this issue.  Please try and attend as we can voice your opinions!