Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Safety Tips

The scariest part of Halloween isn’t the spooky costumes — it’s alcohol-impaired drivers. In 2012, almost HALF of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver. In 2012 alone, 26 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes on October 31. Don't let Halloween turn into a nightmare! A few key safety points: 

   > Always designate a sober driver, even if you only plan to have a drink or two. Buzzed driving is drunk driving.  

   > If you’re at a Halloween party and see someone who is about to drive drunk, take their keys and help them find a safe ride. If the person says they’re not drunk, remind them that buzzed driving is drunk driving and help them find a safe ride.  

   > If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911. It IS your business—you could save a life.  
Motorists need to be especially alert and cautious when driving on Halloween because of the high number of pedestrians walking the streets, many of them kids. Here are some helpful reminders: 

   > Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.

   > Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. 

   > Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
   > At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.

   > Never use your cell phone while driving. 

And finally, some tips for your kids:

   >  Discourage teens from driving on Halloween. There are too many hazards and distractions for inexperienced drivers.

   >  Instruct your children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and avoid trick-or-treating alone. 

   >  Give your children flashlights with fresh batteries to help them see and for others to see them. 

   >  Make sure your child or a responsible adult with them carries a cell phone for quick communication. 

   >  Review all appropriate pedestrian and traffic safety rules with your children. 

   > Look both ways before crossing the street and use established crosswalks whenever possible.  

   > Walk, do not run, from house to house.  

   > Walk on sidewalks, not in the street. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the far edge of the road facing traffic.
 Have a happy and safe Halloween! (Go easy on those fun-size candy bars.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Full Closure of North and Southbound I-405 in Long Beach

Partially demolished I-405 bridge at Temple Avenue
Closures are as follows and subject to change:

Monday, November 3, through Thursday, November 6
8 p.m. to 6 a.m.  – North and Southbound I-405 Lakewood Boulevard to Cherry Avenue 

FULL FREEWAY CLOSURE begins at 12 a.m. and ends at 5 a.m.

Local businesses will remain open throughout the duration of construction.

Detours will be posted. 

This bridge rehabilitation project will require sections of guardrail and overhead portion of the Temple Avenue bridge to be demolished and reconstructed.  As part of this project, the Spring Street on-ramp onto southbound I-405 will be closed until late 2014.  

This project began in January 2014 and is expected to finish in late 2014.  The contractor on this $2.5 million project is DW Powell Construction Inc. of Fontana, California.  The project is funded through the State Highway and Operations Protection Program (SHOPP).

For questions about this project, please contact Public Affairs Officer Peter Jones at 213-897-0106.

Monday, October 27, 2014

I-5 Closures in Burbank and Arleta This Week

Along with the usual construction-related closures motorists who drive I-5 have grown accustomed to, there are a couple of SPECIAL closures in Burbank and Arleta this week:

Burbank: The southbound I-5 Buena Vista Street off-ramp will be closed on Tuesday, October 28, from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. for a concrete pour.

Arleta: Northbound I-5 will be closed between Osborne Street and Paxton Street, 11:59 p.m. to 5 a.m., the nights of Tuesday, December 28, and Wednesday, December 29, for signage work. A detour will be posted.

To stay on top of all the I-5 closures between SR-134 and the Kern County line, sign up to receive notifications in your inbox. Visit the I-5 website and select your areas of interest in the 'Stay Informed' box in the left column.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Caltrans Helps Keep Roads Safe, Motorists Moving During Fire Season

Have you ever wondered what Caltrans employees do when there’s a big fire? In the video below, you get a behind-the-scenes look at a Caltrans tree-clearing crew in action along I-80 on the site of the Applegate Fire. The blaze began burning on October 8, 2014, consuming 459 acres in Northern California’s Placer County. The burnt trees along the highway had compromised root systems and were in danger of toppling over onto vehicles, especially in the event of rain. The Caltrans tree crew made sure that won't happen.

Friday, October 17, 2014

55-Hour Closure of Verdugo Avenue On- and Off-ramps to Southbound I-5 in Burbank

Caltrans will close the southbound I-5 Verdugo Avenue on- and off-ramps from 10 p.m. on Friday, October 24 to 5 a.m. Monday, October 27 to pour new concrete and pave the widened sections of freeway.   

Signed detours will be in place.  Motorists should expect delays.  Closures are subject to change. 
Caltrans reminds motorists to Slow For The Cone Zone and Move Over. It’s the law.

About the Project
This project is building a high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane in each direction along the Golden State Freeway (I-5) between the Ventura Freeway (SR-134) and Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank, a total distance of 5.4 miles (2.7 miles in each direction). It is also constructing sound walls and retaining walls.
Funding for this $57.8 million project is provided by Proposition C.  The contractor is Security Paving of Sun Valley, California.  Work began in March 2011 and is expected to be completed in late 2016.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

One Text or Call Could Wreck It All

Next week, Caltrans is rolling out a safety campaign focusing on distracted driving. From October 20 to 24, motorists will notice the following message on electronic freeway signs throughout California: ONE TEXT OR CALL COULD WRECK IT ALL. (The message will be preempted for Amber alerts, emergency notifications, incidents, and travel times.)

We all know that texting while driving is a bad -- potentially tragic -- idea, but at any given moment during the day in the United States, 660,000 people are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices. Tech-savvy young people are the worst offenders.

So, a friendly reminder: never, ever text while driving. There is no text so urgent that it's worth risking your life and the lives of other motorists. Here are some sobering stats to help drive the point home:

> 80 percent of vehicle crashes involve some sort of driver inattention.

> Up to 6,000 people annually are killed in crashes nationwide where driver distractions are involved.

> Talking on a cell phone or texting is the number-one source of driver distraction.

> Texting takes your eyes off the road for an average of five seconds, far enough to travel the length of a football field at 55 miles per hour. Most crashes happen within less than three seconds of reaction time.

> The act of talking on a cell phone, even hands free, can give you “inattention blindness,” where your brain isn’t seeing what’s right in front of you. You aren’t even aware that you are driving impaired.

For more information about distracted driving, visit the Office of Traffic Safety website.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

55-Hour Closure of Verdugo Boulevard On- and Off-ramps to Southbound I-5 in Burbank

UPDATE:  This closure has been postponed.  It is expected that the closure will begin on Friday, October 24, instead of Friday, October 17.

Caltrans will close the southbound I-5 Verdugo Boulevard on- and off-ramps from 10 p.m. on Friday, October 17 to 5 a.m. Monday, October 20 to enhance the ramps and portions of the mainline.   

Signed detours will be in place.  Motorists should expect delays.  Closures are subject to change.

Caltrans reminds motorists to Slow For The Cone Zone and Move Over. It’s the law.

Verdugo Boulevard ramps in Burbank

Monday, October 6, 2014

Watch for Stopped Vehicles on Northbound I-5 in Burbank

If you drive northbound I-5 in Burbank, you're going to notice some new freeway signs in the near future that say the following: "Buena Vista Street Exit Jammed," "Hollywood Way Exit Jammed," and this one:

The off-ramps back up and vehicles queue on the freeway because there's more traffic using the Buena Vista Street and Hollywood Way exits since the Lincoln Street off-ramp closed in May as part of the Empire Project. Caltrans and the City of Burbank are looking into possible measures to reduce the backups, including adjusting signal timing, restriping northbound I-5 to add an auxiliary lane south of Buena Vista Street, and restriping the Hollywood Way off-ramp to accommodate double left turns. 

These measures are still under review, but a number of other measures are already being implemented. You'll notice a new portable electronic sign south of the Buena Vista exit warning motorists to watch for stopped vehicles, similar notifications on the permanent electronic sign near Los Feliz Boulevard, and installation of the Traffic Jammed and Watch for Stopped Vehicles signs described above.

What can you do to make your northbound I-5 commute easier? Most important, DO watch for stopped vehicles, especially during peak hours. Nothing slows a commute like an accident. Second, use an alternate ramp. Your best bet is Burbank Boulevard, but you may also want to try Glenoaks Boulevard, or take westbound SR-134 to Buena Vista Street.

If you're heading to Bob Hope Airport, you may want to avoid the northbound I-5 Hollywood Way exit and get off at Burbank Boulevard instead. Go west on Burbank Boulevard to Victory Boulevard, and keep heading west to Hollywood Way. Swing a right to go north on Hollywood Way, and then follow the signs to the airport.

For more helpful information about getting to Bob Hope Airport, check out the airport's website

More information about the Empire Project is available on the I-5 website.

It’s Rideshare Week Ventura!

Hopefully you’ll break from the monotony and try a different mode of transportation to get to work this week.  This could be the beginning of a new way to get to work or around Ventura County

Ridesharing can help reduce air pollution, increase capacity on California’s highway and freeway system, improve individual fitness, and save motorists a few dollars in commuting costs.

Maybe you’ll be able to get some extra sleep, finish reading (or writing) the last chapter of your favorite novel, play one of thousands tablet or phone-based games, or just chat with your new (or old) commuter buddies.  Maybe you will be able get some exercise too.  The opportunities are boundless. 

The Ventura County Transportation Commission’s Rideshare website has some valuable resources for you:


Friday, October 3, 2014

Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) on the High Desert Corridor Project Released

Caltrans in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), have released the Draft EIS/EIR on the High Desert Corridor (HDC). It will be open for public comment until December 2, 2014.  

The proposed main corridor for the HDC covers approximately 63 miles, connecting SR-14 and the Palmdale Transportation Center in Los Angeles County with US-395, I-15, Bear Valley Rd and SR-18 in San Bernardino County.  Read more... 

To view the EIS/EIR and other her project related material, click here.

CicLAvia Coming This Sunday!

CicLAvia will return to the Heart of LA this Sunday, October 5, from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. with an almost entirely new route. CicLAvia is a free event and fun for the whole family. No registration is required and there is no starting or ending point. All you need to do is show up somewhere along the route (see map here), travel any direction you like by foot, bike, board or other non-motorized transportation, and then have fun!

Heart of LA will cross through downtown LA along parts of the first CicLAvia route, but will extend into new areas like Echo Park, the Historic Broadway Theater District, and through Boyle Heights all the way into the County of Los Angeles and into East Los Angeles. 

The route will feature a pedestrian zone in the Broadway Theater District, a kids zone at the East LA Civic Center and will cross paths with the Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture, which is being held in Grand Park.

More info about CicLAvia is here. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Caltrans and Partners Inaugurate new Bike Path and Pedestrian Undercrossing

Caltrans, the Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC) and the Santa Barbara Council of Governments (SBCAG) inaugurated a new Class I bike path and pedestrian undercrossing at a September 29th event in the unincorporated area of La Conchita. 

The event included La Conchita residents and members of various Ventura County and Santa Barbara County bike clubs as well as speakers from the three agencies. 

"This is a working example of Caltrans’ updated and expanded mission to provide a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability," said Caltrans Construction Deputy Mark Archuleta.

·   "To the residents of La Conchita, who have waited so long for this pedestrian undercrossing, this is the day we fulfill our promise to provide safe, convenient access to one of our great California resources. From now on, life is a day at the beach."

Caltrans Construction Deputy Mark Archuleta addresses the crowd

The bike path and pedestrian undercrossing are part of a six-mile carpool lane project from Mobil Pier in Ventura County to Casitas Pass Road in Santa Barbara County. The southbound HOV lane is now open from Casitas Pass Road to Highway 33 northbound from Bates Road to Carpinteria. The entire project is expected to complete next spring.

Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett (L), an avid cyclist, speaks with Caltrans Environmental Deputy Ron Kosinski.

Colorful decorations and refreshments, provided by the Ventura County Transportation Commission, helped create a festive atmosphere.