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New solutions proposed for old traffic problems

Posted: February 24, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 24, 2013 2:00 a.m.
 

We’re all in this together when it comes to freeway traffic. It seems to get worse and worse. There’s not enough money to build more efficient freeways and when there’s money it takes years and years to complete improvements.

Metro and Caltrans are attempting to find new solutions to these problems.

They have a new proposal for improving freeways in the Santa Clarita Valley and they’ll be presenting it at public meetings this week.

There are still many questions concerning the plan, but it’s at least worth listening to.

It boils down to this: The plan involves creating a public-private partnership to build carpool lanes on the I-5 between Highway 14 and Parker Road.

These would be toll lanes. Tolls would vary depending on time of day and how many people you have in your car.

Drivers would not be required to take the toll lanes if they didn’t want to. The existing lanes would remain.

The new lanes would be additional capacity.

There’s an interesting wrinkle to all this.

A private firm would be hired to finance, build and manage the lanes so that it could be built more quickly.

Completion date is estimated to be 2019.

Usually, private companies are more efficient than public entities, so it’s worth a look.

If the public-private partnership works in this case, it could lead to others which could result in faster and more efficient road projects.

It’s increasingly necessary that we look for more creative ways to fund and build projects.

We’re not endorsing this project as there are many details that need to be worked out, but we urge community members to attend the meetings this week to hear about the plans and ask questions.

It’s at least worth doing that.

The meetings are at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26 at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex, 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway and at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28 at Rancho Pico Junior High School, 26520 Valencia Blvd.

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