November 17, 2015
The Reason Foundation suggests six “mega projects” to improve traffic flow in Southern California
LOS ANGELES — A tunnel from Glendale to Palmdale, an
expressway/tunnel connecting Riverside and Orange counties, and an
extensive network of toll lanes connecting all major freeways in
Southern California are among the proposals included in a $700 billion congestion-reduction plan released today by a nonprofit think tank.
Reason Foundation proposal calls for variably priced toll lanes on all
major highways and expressways, along with tolled overpasses and
underpasses at bottleneck interchanges and a dramatic increase in bus
rapid transit and express bus service.
• FULL REPORT: Read the Reason Foundation’s full Southern California Mobility Plan (PDF)
also outlines six “mega-projects” to close what it calls major gaps in
the Southland transportation network. The projects are:
• a 710 Freeway extension tunnel connecting with the Foothill (210) Freeway in Pasadena
a tunnel extending north from the Glendale (2) Freeway in Glendale,
connecting with the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway south of Palmdale
• a downtown bypass tunnel extending the 2 Freeway south through Los Angeles to the Harbor (110) Freeway
• an Irvine-Corona Freeway, including an expressway and tunnel between Riverside and Orange counties
a “cross-mountain” expressway and tunnel between the Ventura (101)
Freeway in the San Fernando Valley and Santa Monica (10) Freeway in Los
• a high-desert corridor expressway between the 14 Freeway in Palmdale and 15 Freeway in Victorville.
California is facing crucial transportation decisions,” said Baruch
Feigenbaum, author of the Reason Foundation report. “The region’s
current long-range mobility plans admit that traffic congestion will
only get worse, even after taxpayers spend over $600 billion on
transportation. By focusing on reducing congestion and replacing
expensive, ineffective rail proposals with cost-effective buses,
Reason’s plan improves mobility for drivers and transit users. And it
does so without tax increases.”
According to the report, the use of toll roads would generate
about $362 billion to fully cover the costs of construction, while
another $352 billion in “taxpayer resources” would be needed -- compared
to $606 billion for the existing Southern California Association of
Governments’ Long Range Transportation Plan.
“As a result, our
plan can be constructed with current resources, no tax increase is
needed,” Feigenbaum wrote in an online summary of the report.
Peters, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, said Southern
California drivers spend 80 hours sitting in stalled traffic each year,
equating to two work weeks worth of lost productivity.
“The Reason Foundation report offers solid solutions to these challenges
that do not require tax increases and would improve mobility options
for all users in the region,” Peters said. “I commend the innovative
solutions proposed in it.”