10 ideas for fixing Los Angeles traffic
Updated 7:07 pm, September 10, 2018
Photo: Richard Shotwell / Richard Shotwell/Corbis
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In the Los Angeles Times, Robert J. Lopez reports on the challenges of repairing the city’s roadways as the region moves to a new fiscal year. He writes:
When all these things get together, there is no way Los Angeles could hope to be any worse off than it is today, with the city facing a $150 million budget deficit and traffic along the I-10 and 101 Freeway leading the nation in both number of fatalities and crashes.
The city has been spending billions on a long-term replacement of the existing San Fernando Valley freeway system (SR 90 through SR 85), the city’s largest municipal project and the largest single expenditure ever at the City Hall. But the project isn’t going according to plan, and the city is looking to tap the highway trust fund to pay for the mess.
The city has also spent billions of dollars on a new street grid for the 10 most populous Los Angeles neighborhoods and on road widening, landscaping, and other upgrades, but it has yet to get most of these projects under way. Some projects are expected to start next year; others are years away. City Hall’s budget forecast to 2019 includes only $200 million in additional funding for road repairs – and only if a new fund is created to pay for new pavement.
The state and federal governments are stepping in with more money to help cover some of the city’s losses and the mayor is calling for a massive bond sale that could send the city a bill of more than $900 million.
In the meantime, traffic is causing so much trouble that police are spending more time patrolling intersections and traffic cameras were outfitted to detect when people are driving through red lights.
Traffic is the city’s No. 1 cost, accounting for $4.5 billion of annual spending, according to