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Entrances to Be Added to Carpool Lanes

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Dear Traffic Talk:

Caltrans spent a small fortune constructing carpool lanes on the Simi Valley [Ronald Reagan] and the San Diego freeways, but there is almost no access to them.

Almost every Wednesday we enter the Simi Valley Freeway at Tampa Avenue and go west.

There is no entry to the carpool lane from that point to where it ends in Simi Valley.

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The San Diego Freeway is almost as bad: There is no entry permitted at Nordhoff Street northbound. Going south from the same place, there is just one entrance.

Richard Hillman

Northridge

Dear Richard:

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Caltrans is in the process of creating more access--at least to one local freeway carpool lane, officials said.

On the San Diego Freeway, engineers plan to add four new breaks in the lines for more access to the carpool lanes by the end of the summer, said Pat Reid, a spokeswoman for the agency. Two of the new entrances will be on the northbound side and two will be on the southbound.

Generally, engineers place the lane breaks two or three miles apart, Reid said.

Caltrans limits access to the carpool lanes to keep traffic moving smoothly within the lanes, according to Reid. Also, the limited access prevents carpool and regular traffic from readily mixing and potentially causing accidents.

California Highway Patrol officers prefer the limited access because it allows them to better monitor traffic in that lane and spot violators, according to authorities.

The Ronald Reagan Freeway carpool lane has various entry points, Reid said. The last one for westbound traffic is just before Tampa Avenue.

Caltrans also recommends during heavily congested traffic hours that drivers backtrack along Rinaldi Street on the north side of the freeway to the Reseda Avenue onramps, where there are entrances to the lanes, Reid said.

The low traffic volume at times in the westbound Ronald Reagan Freeway carpool lane could be due to an additional regular lane that was opened at about the same time the carpool lane was added, Reid said.

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The new lane increased capacity overall for regular traffic.

Dear Traffic Talk:

Woodlake Avenue between Ventura and Victory boulevards is full of potholes. Is there any repair and repaving planned?

The potholes and also the lack of a sidewalk create quite a hazard and make it very difficult to walk there.

I have a young child who will be attending Woodlake Elementary in the fall and I may not be able to walk him to school because the street is so bad.

Michelle Meier

Woodland Hills

Dear Michelle:

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That portion of street is on the Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s 1997-98 resurfacing program list, according to authorities.

However, as a matter of standard procedure, after a stretch of street is put on the resurfacing list, it must be cleared by the utility companies that maintain structures in or beneath the street, said Richard Evans, a transportation engineer with the city.

In the meantime, some interim skin patching and pothole repair was recently completed there, he said.

Traffic Talk appears Fridays in The Times Valley Edition. Readers may submit comments and questions about traffic in the Valley to Traffic Talk, Los Angeles Times, 20000 Prairie St., Chatsworth 91311. Include your name, address and phone number. 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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