A new "dynamic" lane may bring some relief to the often-congested one-lane connector from the northbound Pasadena (110) Freeway to the northbound Golden State (5) Freeway.
Transportation officials implemented a system Wednesday that will allow two lanes of traffic to move from one freeway to the other during peak hours.
The freeway transition north of downtown Los Angeles has long been a traffic problem, with motorists who need to exit the 110 and get on the 5 Freeway being forced to merge into the far-left lane. During peak hours, that one lane can be bumper-to-bumper through the tunnels leading up to the ramp, making it difficult for motorists to merge and slowing traffic in other lanes.
To combat the congestion, Caltrans officials switched on a "dynamic" traffic lane that will alternate -- using electronic signs and lighted pavement markers -- between a regular freeway lane and an optional offramp lane.
"The dynamic lane will operate as an optional connector lane during peak hours and a through-lane on SR-110 during general hours," said Frank Quon, Caltrans deputy district director of operations.
The lane will initially be used an optional offramp lane between 3 and 7 p.m. weekdays. Eventually, the optional offramp lane will be activated depending on "real-time traffic demand," Quon said.
Caltrans officials said the people who designed and built the 110 freeway in the 1940s never envisioned Los Angeles' population and congestion growth. Due to the Figueroa Tunnels and reservoir in the area, a new lane could not be added to the freeway, leading to the development of the "dynamic" lane.