The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Expansion of I-405 will affect CSUN commuters

Plans to widen the 405 between the 10 and 101 have come to fruition and construction has begun.

The 405 project, or the Sepulveda pass project, as it is referred to, will create a northbound carpool lane, on I-405 between National Boulevard, which is south of Interstate 10, and Greenleaf Street, which is south of US 101.

Cal State Northridge, conveniently located by the three major freeways Interstate 405, US 101 and US 118, enables students from around the Los Angeles area to commute to the college. However, commuters understand the daily difficulty of traffic on the northbound and southbound I-405.

“CSUN is a commuter school so it will just make the commute easier for those who commute to this school,” said graduate student Jennifer Marter.

The $1 billion project is being supported by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The project has been a topic of conversation between Caltrans, the mayor and the department of transportation since 2002.

“I think that something needs to be done about the traffic problem, especially the 405, which we usually call the parking lot, and so I completely support the small steps that are being taken to relieve this annoying problem in L.A.,” said Breanna Davis, 23.

In 2005, Deputy District Director Ronald J. Kosiniski sent letters to the residents of the areas that would be affected by the development of new on and off ramps, as well as the construction of widening the freeway.

A letter dated Oct. 18, 2005 states, “Any comments or suggestions you may have concerning alternatives to be studied or potential social, economic, and environmental impacts along the I-405 project limits are welcome.”

The DOT executed public outreach surveys in 2002 and 2005. The surveys discovered that in 2002, UCLA and Westwood Hills Property Owners Association supported the development of a northbound carpool lane, but in 2005, WHPOA opposed the Montana off ramp closure due to the UCLA traffic in that particular area.

“I’ve heard that the 405 – 101 interchange is the worst. From experience it’s horrible, whatever they can do they should do,” Marter said.

The California DOT District 7, which serves the Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, is the district which will see the most projects in the nation.

“It might even relieve some of the accidents,” Marter said.

The High Occupancy Vehicle Lane program will be adding carpool lanes to almost every freeway in the area. This $5 billion project is an attempt to accommodate the growth of the area’s population and the traffic that has resulted.

Effects to CSUN students and faculty could include the commute during the construction phase, the easier commute after the project is complete or the neighborhood in which some may live.

“The majority of the student body at CSUN commute to school from their homes, unlike a school like UCSB, where they move from their homes to live on campus or in the dorms, so no matter where they are coming from, CSUN will always be a commuter school for this reason,” Davis said.

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