Caltrans has begun studying several ways to improve safety along a nearly 5-mile stretch of the narrow and winding Arroyo Seco Parkway (110 Freeway), including lowering the speed limit to 45 miles per hour and reducing the parkway to two lanes in each direction.
The five alternatives -- which also includes keeping things as they are -- are focused on making it safer to get off and on the nearly 80-year-old freeway, which is notorious for its extremely short onramps and offramps.
Those short ramps cause vehicles exiting the freeway to back up into the traffic lanes at busy times and provides little space and time for motorists getting on the freeway to safely merge with speeding cars and trucks.
After some preliminary work, the state highway agency is now beginning a formal study of the environmental impact of the improvements and will be seeking responses from the public and other government agencies for what's formally called the Arroyo Seco Safety and Operational Enhancement Project.
Here are the five alternatives that will be studied:
Alternative 1: No Build Alternative
- No action alternative
Alternative 2: Hard Shoulder Running
- The existing outside lane (lane #3) would be converted to permanent shoulder to be used as a part time travel lane during peak periods when volumes are high. This would be accomplished by using Dynamic Message Signs (OMS) located strategically along the project corridor to dynamically-switch shoulder/through lane mode of operations in response to prevailing traffic conditions. The improvement includes a Queue Warning System on the southbound direction between Avenue 60 and Avenue 64 and modification of four emergency pull-out areas (2 locations in each direction)
Alternative 3 Dynamic Flex Lane
- The outside lane (lane #3) on both directions will be utilized as an · acceleration/deceleration/auxiliary lane during off-peak commute hours. The task will be accomplished by using Dynamic Message Signs (OMS) located strategically along the length of the project, and the switching between these two types of operations will be completely automated based on traffic demand. The improvement includes a Queue Warning System on the southbound direction between Avenue 60 and A venue 64 and modification of 4 emergency pull-out areas (2 locations in each direction)
Alternative 4: Speed Reduction
- To reduce the current posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour (mph) to 45 mph. The improvement includes modification of 4 emergency pull-out areas (2 locations in each direction)
Alternative 5 Two-Lane Option
- To reduce the parkway to two lanes'(Lanes #1 and #2) in each direction and convert Lane #3 to a combination shoulder and acceleration/deceleration lane.
How to make the Arroyo Seco Parkway Safer
Select your first choice of the five alternatives being studied
The study would look at the section of the parkway between the Figueroa Street offramp on the south and the Orange Grove offramp on the north.
Similar proposals have been recommended by different studies over the years.
The new study comes a few years after Caltrans made other safety-related changes.