LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The transitions between LA’s notoriously busy freeways have long been known to cause traffic and frustration.
CBS2’s Stephanie Simmons takes a look at some of the most disparaged transitions in the city, including the connector road that keeps eastbound drivers on the I-210 Foothill freeway when passing the 134 freeway.
The I-210 East transition tunnel sees more than 200,000 vehicles every day and has gathered a reputation over the years as a stretch with frequent accidents.
“There are lights within the tunnels, so visibility is adequate in the tunnels,” California Highway Patrol officer Vince Ramirez said. “A lot of it has to do with the motorists paying attention.”
Despite the tunnel’s visibility, the signs of vehicular incidents are evident, with markings remaining from a number of accidents.
“Unfortunately, in inclement weather, we do see an increase in big-rig crashes through those connector roads,” Ramirez said. “And it has to do with the fact that most of these big-rigs are carrying a load, and they don’t slow down enough to maneuver through those connector roads.
Caltrans, meanwhile, reportedly has plans to increase safety in the connector.
“We do have a project this fall to try to add more, almost like sandpaper, or more friction for the roadway,” CalTrans’ Patrick Chandler said. “But that’s just a safety enhancement.”
Another connector that generally causes stress among commuters is the transition between the I-605 and I-5 freeways through Santa Fe Springs, Downey and Norwalk.
Traffic on both freeways in both directions is typically slow throughout the day, but the most accident-prone area is on the Santa Ana freeway (I-5), just south of the I-605.
“Some places where we have connectors, you have motorists who might be on the far side in the number one lane, and they need to get to the other side,” Chandler said. “And so you have people who are weaving.”
Caltrans is recognizing the positive relationship between last-minute lane changing and the number of accidents, and is working to correct the issue.
“The 605 to the county line, we’re widening the (I-5), adding HOV lanes, but also adding extra lanes down there,” Chandler said.
In Diamond Bar, it is rumored that the consistent congestion at the interchange between the 57 and 60 freeways can be attributed to a design flaw.
“I think there are a lot of rumors, because a lot of people who drive freeways definitely believe that they are experts,” Chandler said.
While Chandler suggests that there is no design flaw on the interchange, he says construction to help alleviate traffic congestion is scheduled for 2016.
In the meantime, CalTrans urges drivers to take advantage of public transportation to help enhance traffic flow.