Los Angeles Traffic Grid Lock
The Freeways and Gridlock of Los Angeles and Orange County
The freeways of Los Angeles and Orange Counties are maxed with traffic to any practical capacity. The 405, 101, 110, I-5, 710, 14, 55, 57, 91, I-10, 210, and 605 freeways can no longer be expanded by any practical means. THEY ARE MAXED OUT SIZE WISE AND TRAFFIC CONGESTION ON THEM IS SIMPLY HORRIFIC DURING RUSH HOURS. Try going Friday afternoon from Anaheim to Van Nuys and be sure to allocate approximately 2 plus hours for the journey, maybe more.
Add to that the projected population growth for both of these counties in the future and you have the makings of a real traffic problem. Just take a look at the below graph from 2015 showing that L.A. has the worst traffic congestion in the nation.
So what then is the answer to this traffic congestion and gridlock in these two counties - Los Angeles and Orange County? The question is will the current LA light Rail plan through 2030 on its own merit realistically remove sufficient cars off of the LA/Orange County Freeways to make a difference – LA and Orange Counties need ridership on a transit system to increase not by several 10,000 riders per day but by several 100,000 riders per day. Thus LA and Orange County strategy may just need to be an integrated transit system involving several systems such as CNG Bus, Light Rail, Monorail, and tunnels. Angelinos will get out of their vehicles and off the freeways for two main reasons 1st) if it saves them more than just a buck and 2nd) is convenient or more or less equal to their current commute – the commute via transit can be longer but not by much. Ultimately it is up to the people of Los Angeles and Orange Counties to decide on a solution to the gridlock, provided they want one, but it does seem like an impossible job and the situation does not appear to be getting any better either.
“The great late science fiction author Ray Bradbury had it right when he said Los Angeles needs a Monorail to solve its congestion problem.”But building such a system would not be without complexity and cost, and not everyone is on board for a monorail system, some are pushing for a subway system. In any event a new monorail would need to link with existing light rail transportation networks as well.
What’s a possible Monorail Strategy for Los Angeles and Orange Counties?It is interesting to note that either by accident or by design everyone living in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas lives within 5 to 10 minutes of a MAJOR GEOGRAPHICAL FOCAL POINT such as:
- A Major Shopping Mall
- Convention Center or City Center
- Entertainment Hub such as Disneyland, Universal Studios, Knotts Berry Farm, Film Studios, Beverly Hills, or other
- Cal State University or Private College
The Los Angeles and Orange County map is literally dotted with these major focal points and what do these geographical points all have in common?
- Parking lots
- People who work there daily
- Large number of visitors – locals and tourists
- Convenience – they are conveniently located
Hence here is a possible strategy for a building a monorail system for these counties:
Privately funded and built monorail stations to be part of the infrastructure of each of these major geographical focal points with additional parking and electric car charging stations:
Owners of these monorail stations would be private entities either owned by the major geographical focal point owner or private investors, or combination of both – the monorail stations at these major focal points would be operated for profit as businesses, and hence the cities, county, or the State of California would not need to build them.
As an incentive the owners of these major focal points could receive a significant tax incentive from the state for building a monorail station and for providing for electric car charging systems. And the monorail stations could be unique at each of these major geographical focal points and only the monorail and track itself in between the points would be standardized.
Who, where, and how to build a high-capacity dual-beam monorail system then to connect these major geographical focal points monorail stations and what is an approximate COST to do so?
- Based on the Las Vegas Monorail System the cost is approximately $100 to $120 Million per mile in today’s dollars including monorail stations along the way.
- In Los Angeles and Orange Counties the system could be built mostly along freeways and canals running along the length of these existing arteries thus saving construction costs and minimizing upheaval to existing running traffic.
- Built entirely with PRIVATE INVESTMENT recouping costs and realizing profit from ticket receipts receiving California State Assistance in the building process.
- Built as rapidly as possible because the system will carry many more passengers when the large number of destinations become reachable via multiple legs.
Advantages of a High-capacity Dual-beam Monorail System
Here are some advantages of a high-capacity dual-beam monorail system . A high-capacity dual-beam monorail system is independent. A new monorail system in Los Angeles (LA) and Orange Counties (OC) would be completely independent of existing transport modes and so unaffected by problems on other networks.
A high-capacity dual-beam monorail system are cost effective more so than light rail or subway systems. Great uncertainties usually exist when going underground as to the full cost of dealing with the myriad underground services (sewers, storm water, mains water, electricity & gas.) as well as geological challenges such as, sand, rock and clay.
Often subway systems are below sea-level creating many expensive challenges during construction and maintenance. A high-capacity dual-beam monorail system costs less than 10% per km as much as a two-track subway. But that doesn’t mean that a monorail cannot connect to existing light rail systems already in place – in fact it should. Or building a combination of both is doable as well.
But just like any other transportation system a high-capacity dual-beam monorail system may get an individual only 80% of the way to their destination!So here is how it may work to solve that particular issue:
(1) An individual drives their car/electric car to a MAJOR GEOGRAPHICAL FOCAL POINT monorail station, parks and recharges for free – the owners of that station receive a tax incentive to offer solar charging station and tax deduction for providing the service.
(2) An individual boards a monorail and rides to another MAJOR GEOGRAPHICAL FOCAL POINT monorail station near their destination.
(3) At end destination station an individual boards a taxi, city bus, private lift/taxi service, or a company van. Companies receive tax benefits for vans and picking up employees to and from a major geographical focal point monorail station, and vice versa.
Ultimately it is up to the people of Los Angeles and Orange Counties to decide on a solution to the gridlock, provided they want one. But the traffic in these counties does appear to be worsening with no real solution in sight.
I believe it is possible to build a high-capacity dual-beam monorail system with private investment in these two counties with monorail stations run as private businesses for profit at major geographical focal point monorail stations - what other solution to the traffic gridlock is there?