Monday, December 30, 2013

Rose Parade Ramp Closures: SR-134, SR-710, and I-210

Miss Cheryl Walker, Queen of the 1938 Tournament of Roses pulls a lever on a tractor which started grading operations for the Arroyo Seco Parkway (SR-110) in March 1938
Today's Date:  Monday, December 30, 2013   
District 7: Los Angeles & Ventura Counties      
Contact:  Patrick Chandler   
Phone:  (213) 897-3630



Pasadena – The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will close the following ramps for the Rose Parade:

Tuesday, December 31 through Wednesday, January 1
Ventura Freeway (SR-134)

8 p.m. to 2 p.m. – Eastbound Orange Grove Boulevard off-ramp
12 a.m. to 2 p.m.  – Westbound Orange Grove Boulevard on-ramp

Foothill Freeway (I-210)

8 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Eastbound San Gabriel Boulevard off-ramp
8 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Westbound Sierra Madre Boulevard off-ramp

Long Beach Freeway (SR- 710)
9 p.m. to 11 a.m. – Southbound Del Mar Boulevard off-ramp.
6 p.m. to 10 a.m. – Northbound Del Mar Boulevard and California Boulevard on-ramps.

An encroachment permit has been issued for these event-related closures.

Caltrans advises motorists to “Slow For The Cone Zone.”

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Space Required to Transport 72 People

How much space is required to transport 72 people? And by extension, how much congestion might those 72 people create? The City of Münster, Germany answered that question with this famous poster:

The iconic poster was created more than 22 years ago to promote transit and bicycling in the city, but the message is even more pertinent today in LA County. Bicycling, transit and other forms of "active transportation" are highly effective ways to reduce congestion and to create a sustainable transportation system that works better for everyone.

So, if you're thinking about New Year's resolutions, consider tweaking your transportation diet. We understand that not everyone can bike to work or shop for a family of six on foot (though some do). But maybe you can take transit a couple times a week. Or try carpooling. Or ride your bike to do some of those weekend errands. You'll save money, improve your health, and it's good for the environment. Plus, you might even enjoy it. 

By the way, Münster is now the bicycle capital of Germany.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Our Holiday Present to You

We weren't sure what to get you for Christmas this year, so we went with our standard crowd-pleaser: no construction closures on December 25 to help you get to your holiday festivities as quickly and easily as possible. Many contractors will be taking off the rest of the week, too, so construction activity will be very light for the next few days. Enjoy the (almost) cone-free freeways!

Although regular construction closures will be suspended, accidents, special events and other traffic-snarling forces can slow you down, so check the Caltrans QuickMap or call 511 before you leave to get real-time traffic info.

Happy holidays from Caltrans!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Grapevine Closed? You Can Still Go North

Heading north on the Golden State Freeway (I-5) this winter through the Grapevine?  If I-5 is closed due to Operation Snowflake because of icy conditions on the freeway, are you really going to try to wait along the highway for the weather to improve? We hope not.  You have options. 

Try  This application will show you the locations and current conditions of all of the highways and freeways in the state. 

You can try other northbound routes like US 101, I-15, US-395, and SR-99.  There are other routes that go and east and west that connect the north- and southbound routes (guess what, many of these have been around for decades).

Drive safe and get around the closure.
  Here are some winter driving tips.

I-5 on a snowy day near Frazier Park.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Caltrans Archives: L.A. Freeway Kids Mural, Coming To Life on US 101

Gleena Avila (mid-level) painting one of the "kids" on 4/14/1984

Located on a retaining wall along the southbound Hollywood Freeway (US 101) in downtown Los Angeles, the L.A. Freeway Kids mural, painted by Gleena Avila in 1984, has stood as a reminder when Los Angeles opened its doors to the world for the ’84 Olympics.  

Back in 1983, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) worked closely with the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, and several artists to allow for the painting of murals along freeways in downtown Los Angeles.

Over the years, many of the murals suffered attacks by vandals and taggers, but today working in coordination with the Caltrans’ Transportation Art Program, the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles has worked to bring these important works of art back into the view of nearly 200,000 motorists a day.

Obviously, the story about murals along freeways in Los Angeles is a much longer one, but since these photos were recently found by our District 7 bloggers, we felt we'd share it with you today.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Caltrans' Advanced Laser Mapping Vehicle

Caltrans and UC Davis have created a cutting-edge laser mapping vehicle that allows surveyors to survey roadways more quickly, effectively and safely. Using the new Mobile Terrestrial Laser Scanner (MTLS), survey operations that used to take months and required exposing Caltrans staff to live traffic now take just a few hours — AND our surveyors can work safely inside a vehicle. (More info about MTLS from UC Davis is here.)

The vehicle's two lasers, seven high-resolution cameras and GPS scan 360 degrees and collect a massive amount of raw data (called a point cloud) that's turned into highly accurate 3D images, which can be used to schedule maintenance, manage landscaping, plan construction projects and much more. Here are some examples of MTLS scan outputs: 


The MTLS cost about $1 million and has already paid for itself several times over.

Want to see the MTLS in action? Check out this story by KCRA in Sacramento.