Commuters in the South Bay are not all thrilled with some new metered lights being added to one of the county’s busiest freeways.
Wednesday morning, the lights at the Olympic Boulevard on-ramp to Interstate 805 went active. They are supposed to be designed to control the flow of traffic onto the freeway and eventually ease congestion. Caltrans is focusing on this corridor, with a project that adds lights to five on-ramps.
Many drivers, though, have complaints.
"At that location, the concerns are being expressed to us, and we're doing our best to minimize any traffic concerns to the public," said Caltrans spokesman Ed Cartagena.
Last week, Caltrans activated lights at the Telegraph Canyon on-ramp to the I-805. It turned out a light was not properly connected and stayed red for the duration of the morning commute. Caltrans had to shut the system down and reset it.
"We did have a bit of a malfunction with that one when we first turned it on, so we did correct it," Cartagena said.
But Cartagena said the lights always need fine-tuning, anyway and that input from drivers is welcome.
"It's that feedback from people who drive that route every single day, and then in conjunction with our traffic experts, we try to meld those two together to find the best solution to get traffic going to get people to their situation quickly and most of all safely," Cartagena said.
With a state budget mess that offers no money for new freeway expansions, Cartagena said metered traffic lights are a realistic way to ease traffic for the whole county.
"It does create inconvenience to people when they first activate this, but in the overall scope of things, if you have traffic down in the South Bay, this can alleviate it there it will ripple all the way down on the 805 corridor," said Cartagena.