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Lawmaker wants to open Southland car pool lanes for off-peak use

February 19, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • Eastbound traffic on the 134 Freeway is clogged by an accident.
Eastbound traffic on the 134 Freeway is clogged by an accident. (Mike Meadows / Associated…)

Motorists without passengers would be able to use the car pool lanes on the 134 Freeway in Southern California during non-peak hours under legislation introduced to address the growing gridlock on state freeways.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) said his AB 405 will create a test program that could be expanded to other congested freeways in Southern California that do not open up car pool lanes to all traffic after rush hour. It would allow single-passenger vehicles to use the car pool lanes in off-peak hours in a five-mile stretch of the 134 between the 170 and 5 freeways.

Gatto said the change would address the situation in which there is a late-night accident that turns normal lanes into a parking lot while the car pool lane is little used.

The goal of car pool lanes is to reduce congestion and reward those who share rides.

"When motorists are stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic at midnight while carpool lanes sit empty, none of those goals are being met,"’ Gatto said. "It just doesn't make sense."

Gatto cited a recent Caltrans report that found that Southern California's car pool lanes are not being used to capacity during non-peak hours.

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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