|I-405 Express Toll Lanes Interactive Map|
With just five days until the Interstate 405 express toll lanes open, the question on everyone's mind is what will traffic look like in the first few days, weeks, and months after express toll lanes open on Sept. 27. Drivers should pack their patience next Monday morning, as we expect it may be a challenging commute as drivers adjust to the changes.
We've been researching similar projects across the country in order to make an educated prediction about what to expect here, and we want to share what we've learned.
It takes time to get up to full speed
Every express toll lane project in the country has experienced a transition period at the start. We expect it will take traffic six months to a year to adjust as drivers learn the ins and outs of using the I-405 express toll lanes.
Especially with the first commute on Monday and through the first few weeks, we expect congestion in the regular lanes as more drivers familiarize themselves with entry and exit points, learn to read the signs, and grow comfortable enough to give the new lanes a try.
LA Metro ExpressLanes along I-110 and I-10 showed that it takes time for drivers to become familiar with the new lanes and for traffic to settle. Initial travel times increased and speeds decreased, but, they steadily improved over the one-year demonstration. These results spurred Metro to continue with the program.
Once drivers are accustomed to using the express toll lanes, this system will move more people more efficiently, in both the express toll lanes and in the regular lanes, by offering a choice to drivers to buy into the express toll lanes when they need it most.
The success stories are encouraging
More than 30 express toll lane systems have been successfully implemented in places around the United States, including Orange County, Calif.; Miami; Atlanta and our very own SR 167 HOT Lanes.
- The SR 167 HOT Lanes have been a large success. Last year, the HOT lanes provided weekday drivers with an average time savings of eight minutes during the morning peak hour for an average toll of $2.25.
- After express toll lanes opened on I-95 in Miami, HOV lane speeds tripled and regular lane speeds doubled.
- The SR 91 Express Toll Lanes between Orange and Riverside counties in Calif. saves users an average of 30 minutes on their commute.
Believe it or not, public support improves with time
We know you're skeptical, that's to be expected. Across the country, public opinion polls found that people doubted express toll lanes the most just before opening but this eventually grew into support. Drivers want to see express toll lanes work before they believe they will help
Before San Diego implemented express toll lanes in 1996, only a quarter of drivers approved of the idea. However, a year later public support had increased to 65 percent.
Don't believe it could happen here? A recent customer survey of SR 167 HOT lane users showed that over two thirds of drivers believed the money they spent to use the lanes was well worth it and wanted to see express toll lanes expanded to other freeways in our region.
Are you ready for the big I-405 closures Sept. 25-27? Don't be late for kickoff – get detours and closure details here.
Please note that this work is weather dependent. If it is delayed, it will impact the Sunday, Sept. 27 opening of the express toll lanes.
Top 10 things you need to know about I-405 express toll lanes