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L.A. Now Live: Los Angeles mulls toll lanes and clogged freeways

April 10, 2013
  • Traffic on the 110 Freeway southbound from Slauson Avenue during rush hour. The toll lanes on the left are relatively clear; other lanes are not.
Traffic on the 110 Freeway southbound from Slauson Avenue during rush hour.… (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)

Toll lanes on the 110 and 10 freeways are Los Angeles County's first attempt at "congestion pricing," charging solo drivers varying prices to use carpool lanes.

The fees for non-carpool drivers increase as regular traffic lanes become clogged. Traveling in the toll lanes can shave two to three minutes a mile off rush-hour trips, officials say, and are seen as a way to maximize the efficiency of a largely built-out freeway network.

Join us at 9 a.m. as we discuss the county's toll experiment and what the plans are for the future with Times reporter Laura Nelson.

The use of toll lanes to ease traffic woes is spreading across the country. Nine states have a total of 18 toll corridors. Twelve more are under construction.

Some experts say the lanes are reducing gridlock in the nation's most congested metropolitan areas, including Atlanta, Houston and Miami. Other analysts argue the traffic benefits are overstated.

The L.A. toll lanes will be formally evaluated later this year. If certain benchmarks aren't achieved, including keeping toll lanes moving at 45 mph during rush hour, Metro will have to return $210 million in federal funding.

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