Improvements to a troubled transport hub that are unworthy of a statue – Press Enterprise

Q Hello Honke. The westbound 91 freeway approaching the southbound 55 has got to be the biggest log jam in the world and no one seems to be doing anything about it. This area is often bumper-to-bumper on the 91, while the two adjacent toll lanes can travel 80 mph in the same direction. If you did nothing but clear this traffic jam, I’m sure a statue of you would be erected along the road from 91 westbound motorists. I propose that the westbound toll portion of the freeway terminates at Lakeview Avenue. If you can, grab a chair, a cold beer, and a good cigar, and stand on the Lakeview Bridge to see how scarce cars are on this section of the 55-bound toll road. That congestion must add thousands of tons of exhaust pollutants to the air, along with thousands of gallons of gasoline being wastefully consumed while idling motorists quickly go nowhere.

– Al Geisweidt, Anaheim Hills

A Honk would prefer a Pulitzer Prize, but a statute will do — as long as it shows him with a full head of hair a few years ago.

The passages between Orange County and the Inland Empire have been troubled for decades, with no greater relief in sight.

Years ago there was talk of making the 91 double deck and another proposal was to dig a highway through the mountains. Those ideas are dead for now, and with only the 91 Freeway and adjacent 91 Express Lanes and the windy, somehow dangerous Ortega Highway to the south, there aren’t many viable options for current traffic officials.

The section of toll lanes you mentioned, Al, between the 55 Freeway and Lakeview is about a mile long and will not switch to the freeway.

“The purpose of the 91 Express Lanes is to give people a reliable and time-saving way to commute when it matters most to them.” Eric Zimmerman, an OCTA spokesman said in an email. “Opening the lanes would defeat that purpose. (And the) OCTA continues to pay back the loan used to purchase the lanes through toll revenues.”

Any additional money must go back into improvements in this corridor.

However, there is some good news. Steps are being taken to reduce weaving, which is a major contributor to traffic congestion.

The westbound onramp in Lakeview will be expanded in a couple of years to include two lanes that connect directly to the southbound 55, so drivers will no longer have to cross a few lanes and slow others to make the transition. Lane markings will be improved to also encourage less weaving as drivers get into the correct lane to head south or continue west on the 91.

So no statue?


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