The thousands of commuters who drive Pacific Coast Highway every morning could start the New Year right by helping to uncork a traffic bottleneck.
Three northbound lanes are available on PCH south of Artesia Boulevard. There are also three lanes north of Artesia. But only two lanes can legally cross the Artesia intersection . . . a serious bottleneck.
Third-lane usage is partially blocked by the concrete traffic island on the southeast corner, because it was originally constructed about four feet wider than the plans. Removing the traffic obstruction requires narrowing this island and laying a strip of new roadway pavement.
This project currently has a low priority and may not be completed for years. But PCH commuters can change this by taking a little time . . . to write a short letter requesting that this highway improvement be implemented to correct for past errors, thereby opening all three lanes to through traffic.
Letters should be addressed to Mr. Donald L. Watson, District Director, District 7, California Department of Transportation, 120 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, 90012.
The residents and City Council of Hermosa Beach might add a few letters for entirely different reasons. Anything that improves PCH traffic flow encourages commuters to use the main artery instead of cutting through residential streets to avoid bottlenecks.
A letter may be the best way to start the New Year with a real cork-popper. Working together right now we may be able to pull this plug.
JAMES R. CLARK JR.