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Questions and Answers About Your Commute : Lone Drivers in Carpool Lanes Irk Commuter

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Dear Traffic Talk:

Every day when I commute on the Hollywood Freeway, I see countless cars with only one driver in the newly constructed carpool lane between the Ventura and Golden State freeways.

It’s really irritating to be stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic and see these cars whizzing by.

I thought there was a huge fine for this but have never seen anyone being pulled over.

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What can I do to reduce my anger and stress level when I see these commuters literally thumbing their noses at me?

Barbara Cloud

Sylmar

Dear Barbara:

According to Sgt. Ernie Garcia, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol, enforcement of high-occupancy-vehicle laws is a top priority for the agency.

In fact, Garcia said, CHP officers write several hundred citations a month to violators in Los Angeles County alone.

Each of the citations is worth $271 in most courts, he said.

But often, he said, people confuse as violators drivers in the diamond lanes who have one or more small children that are not visible to drivers in main traffic. Even CHP officers occasionally fail to see the children, Garcia said.

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Dear Traffic Talk:

Could you please answer a few questions about adopting a highway?

How much does it cost per month if the cleanup is done by Caltrans? How long must a volunteer group commit? How often must a group do cleanups? What support does Caltrans provide? Who puts up the notices on the stretch of highway? Is there a need for highway adoption?

Finally, whom does one contact?

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Shep Goldblum

Studio City

Dear Shep:

According to Pat Reid, a Caltrans spokeswoman, permits are issued to clubs, organizations, businesses and private individuals who wish to adopt a two-mile section of a highway.

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Caltrans provides tools and equipment to volunteers, who must clean their section at least 12 times a year.

The signs on the side of the freeway are posted by Caltrans to recognize the volunteer groups, Reid said.

Caltrans estimates that the approximate 450 Adopt-a-Highway volunteer groups in Los Angeles and Ventura counties help provide Caltrans with $22 million worth of free labor annually.

To participate call the Caltrans office of public affairs at (213) 897-4867.

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Dear Traffic Talk:

Prior to the Northridge earthquake there was a red curb line in front of my building, where no one was allowed to park. This is adjacent to an exit of the subterranean garage.

It has since worn out and when a vehicle or truck is parked there, it’s almost impossible to see oncoming traffic heading west on Moorpark Street, which has become increasingly heavy.

We have had two accidents due to this problem.

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Can we get the curb repainted to avoid this hazardous situation?

Leo Roller

Studio City

Dear Leo:

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The Los Angeles Department of Transportation has been notified.

A spokesman said workers will come out and repaint the curb.

Traffic Talk appears Fridays in The Times Valley Edition. Readers are invited to submit comments and questions about traffic in the Valley. Please write to Traffic Talk, Los Angeles Times, 20000 Prairie St., Chatsworth 91311. Include your full name, address and day and evening phone numbers. Letters may be edited, and no anonymous letters will be accepted. To record your comments, call (818) 772-3303. Fax letters to (818) 772-3385. E-mail questions to valley@latimes.com


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