Reader has an idea on how to fix the 241 toll road’s congestion at the 91
Q. Dear Honk: The northbound 241 Toll Road as it approaches the 91 Freeway is very dangerous during rush-hour traffic. At these times, traffic is often backed up for two or more miles in the right two lanes that go onto the eastbound 91. To avoid waiting in this backup, many cars try to cut into these right lanes from the free-flowing left lanes that go onto the westbound 91. Countless cars literally stop in these left lanes trying to merge into the right ones at the last second. This is obviously a very dangerous situation. Why isn’t a barrier installed between the west and east lanes as far back on the 241 as needed to prevent this dangerous practice? You could use those flexible poles, the type that separate the lanes of the 91 Freeway and the 91 Express Lanes.
– Terence Kilker, Yorba Linda
A. Three years ago, solid, double-white lines and signs were posted out there to improve driving habits.
“While we’ve seen an improvement, (the Transportation Corridor Agencies) continue to explore options to enhance operations in this area,” spokeswoman Sarah Swensson King told Honk in an email. “We have been working closely with Caltrans for nearly three years – to implement the on-road changes and look at other short-term solutions to help mitigate the queue jumping; included in the options being explored are channelizers.”
Channelizers, Terence, are those flexible poles you mentioned that give way if a vehicle grazes them or an emergency vehicle needs to roll over them to get to a crash or other problem.
In the end, Caltrans must improve any changes on the 241.
“The long-term solution is building the 241/91 Express Connector, which would allow commuters from the 241 Toll Road to merge directly into the tolled Express Lanes on the 91 Freeway,” King said. “The 241/91 Express Connector would include pavement widening and the potential to install (a) concrete barrier … to help minimize queue jumping. We are working to complete the planning phase of the proposed project this year and could start construction as early as 2021.”
But that project faces opposition from other transportation officials, who say it would hurt traffic flow on the Express Lanes and the regular 91 Freeway if built before other improvements are constructed in the area, so it is not a given that it will be built.
Q. Hello Honk: I have heard that Irvine police are converting their patrol vehicles to black and white colors and recently noticed that Laguna Beach police are doing the same thing. They were both blue and white. I was wondering why this was happening? Confusion with private patrols?
– Rob Hackett, Beijing
A. Yes, folks, Honkland residents are even in faraway China.
And, yes, the two police agencies want people to immediately recognize their patrol vehicles, instead of thinking they are a private security company’s cars or trucks.
Via your computer, Rob, you might have read the Register’s coverage on Laguna’s new logo on the patrol vehicles that incorporates the American flag. A few don’t like it, apparently, but most seem to.
Honk thinks it looks pretty neat.
Honkin’ fact: There are 62 companies in California that are permitted to test autonomous vehicles with a driver on board, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. There is one, Waymo, that carries a permit for driverless testing. A week ago, the DMV released proposed regulations for allowing light-duty autonomous delivery trucks to hit public streets. It is unclear now if a driver would be aboard during that testing.
To ask Honk questions, reach him at email@example.com. He only answers those that are published. To see Honk online: ocregister.com/tag/honk.