In response to protests from the San Fernando Valley, state highway officials say that they will petition a state commission to drop a diamond-lane-only provision attached to the planned widening of the Ventura Freeway.
The California Transportation Commission, which controls all spending for highways in the state, approved two new lanes for the freeway in 1984 on the condition that one eastbound lane be restricted to car pools and buses.
The $5-million, 13-mile widening would add one lane in each direction from the Hollywood Freeway to Topanga Canyon Boulevard.
A 68-member advisory committee was recently formed by the California Department of Transportation to decide whether to open the new eastbound lane to all vehicles or to make it a diamond lane, restricted to car pools and buses. But committee members became angry when they learned of the diamond-lane-only stipulation. Several Valley legislators pledged to lobby in Sacramento to remove the provision.
Might Cause Delay
David Roper, deputy director for Caltrans' Southern California District, warned the committee that asking the commission to drop the stipulation might cause a delay or cancellation of the project if there is an "overreaction" by commissioners.