“High Desert Corridor,” a New Highway for North L.A. County, Moves Forward

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We don’t often discuss issues effecting the Northern parts of L.A. County.  But as a freeway expansion project moves through the environmental study phases towards construction; it’s worthwhile to check in on one of the few new highway projects in Southern California, the High Desert Corridor project.  With $33 million in Measure R funds to pay for the environmental studies already secured  for the $6 billion highway project, Caltrans is moving forward with a series of public hearings in the North County this month.  A copy of Caltrans’ postcard announcing the meetings is available at the end of the article.

So what is the High Desert Corridor?  Caltrans refers to the project as “multi-modal” because it will help move cars and trucks.  Metro, gives a more honest assesment in the project’s homepage.

The High Desert Corridor (HDC) will accommodate an expected three to six fold increase in tra;c between the Antelope and Victor Valleys…

…The HDC will construct a new 50-mile east-west freeway/expressway and possible truck toll facility between Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. The east-west segment would be an eight-lane freeway [including a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane in each direction] from SR-14 past the Palmdale Airport to 50th St East along an alignment paralleling P-8 in Palmdale; a six-lane freeway/expressway from 50th St East to 240th St East past the planned Southern California Logistics Airport to I-15.

In an era where new freeway projects are greenwashed with claims the project will help clean the air by reducing congestion or reduce the number of cars by encouraging carpooling, it’s both refreshing and horrifying to see a new highway proposed solely because it will create hundreds of new travel lane miles between two sprawled out places on a map.

While there’s little written on this project compared to many of the other Measure R Highway Projects; it could have a gigantic impact on the way in which the region grows.  Consider that the mammoth widening of the I-405 occurring in West Los Angeles will add 25% car capacity to the road, but this project will add between 300%-600% along a 50 mile stretch.

Thus far, there’s little opposition vocal opposition to the project, while support comes in from as far away as Las Vegas.  While Metro is optimistically broadcasting a 2020 completion date for the project, the hearings being held this month are just the beginning of the environmental process.  This process could take more than just a couple of years if opposition to the highway sprouts up as we’ve seen in other suburban areas where people have already gotten the message the highways are the cause of, not the solution to, automobile gridlock.

You can keep up with news on the HDC as it moves towards construction at the High Desert Corridor Joint Powers Authority website.

9 19 10 post card

44 thoughts on “High Desert Corridor,” a New Highway for North L.A. County, Moves Forward

  1. This project wouldn’t be such a nightmare if it included a rail right-of-way. Even if the ROW has to be given over to the (privately owned) Desert Xpress people, at least then there will be continuous rail access from LA to Las Vegas.

    True, you will have to change trains at Palmdale (from Metrolink to Desert Xpress), but that’s a thousand times better than driving your car to Victorville and parking it there in a huge parking structure to board the train when you’re already almost halfway to Vegas.

  2. Why are these meetings always held from 6pm to 8pm. Are they specifically trying to keep away a part of the population, like those who have children?

    This road already behaves as a freeway, but its undivided, so it is dangerous due t head-ons.

    It is however, a good candidate for being a full toll road, not just for trucks. Why should CalTrans be subsidizing the Antelope Valley subdivision builders?

  3. This is classic dark side of Measure R. In all likelihood it’s going to spawn a whole new generation of car-dependent neighborhoods up there.

    It’s not just an up there problem. Not only because of climate change, but also because a lot of those people will be heading south for jobs, adding to local traffic and emissions.

  4. The link to “as far as Las Vegas” is an entertaining yet depressing interview. Las Vegas is obviously a town without much interest in transit, yet this guy is so caught up in details (and too uninformed about everything else) that he can’t offer any opinions. The corollary is that he is still stuck trying to get cars up freeway ramps and just spews talking points about unnecessary trips and freedom when asked about transit.

    He doesn’t recall engineering is about “layering”: leave the friction coefficient for maglev trains to the engineers designing those trains, and you go and take their result to figure out what you can do with their product.

  5. The High Desert Corridor was being talked about when we first moved here to the Antelope Valley in 1992, 18 years ago. We figured it would probably never happen, as they’ve also been talking about the airport for 30+ years and every attempt to revive it has failed.

    Here’s the local argument for the freeway, as given by our local LA County Supervisor, Michael Antonovich, in an Antelope Valley Press article dated July 27, 2010 entitled “Supes in D.C. to tout corridor plan.”

    “In conjunction with the Palmdale Airport and the ‘inland port,’ this vital corridor will improve traffic safety and mobility, spur expansion of manufacturing and industrial development, and create a vital, missing goods movement link in Southern California that will improve regional congestion and air quality throughout Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties,” Antonovich said.

    I have doubts that a freeway from inland could bring about the industry and manufacturing that this area so desperately needs. As it is now, a huge portion of the population works “down below” in the San Fernando Valley or LA and commutes there on the 14 freeway. Even in good economic times, the Antelope Valley is economically depressed.

    When I was at the High Speed Rail meeting a few weeks ago, one of the engineers on the project said that it was felt by some that HSR would also help the local economy by making it more feasible for those in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys to use Palmdale Airport and that would make it more desirable for airlines to use. I think they also believe that the High Desert Corridor will serve the same purpose to bring people to the Palmdale Airport.

  6. Think about the number of bus only lands you could make with $8 billion. Literally, it’s close to 400 miles of lanes in each direction.

  7. How does this fit with High Speed Rail if at all?

    I’ve heard it discussed in multiple places that connecting Victorville with Palmdale is a less expensive option than going through the El Cajon pass.

    There could be San Francisco to/from Las Vegas direct trains as well as Los Angeles to/from Las Vegas trains if the high desert route is used.

  8. What a waste of money. I never understood nor will I ever understand. There is just no reason to waste this money connecting cities that shouldn’t even be there.

  9. Thanks for covering this issue – it’s hard for me to fathom, that here in So Cal leaders are talking about building new freeway miles – and I too struggle to see how this is multi-modal.

    I think we should allocate funds to maintain the existing freeway network we have now – the roads definitely need it, but we need to stop spending out limited transportation resources on building new ones right now.

    How does this project line up to the state goals as outlined in SB 375? How does this reconcile with a regional plan to improve land use and transportation planning?

    Also – I’m really interested to see the methodology on how adding travel lanes, reduces congestion – thereby reduces idling and emissions. LA times seems to be doing some great investigate journalism these days – perhaps they could look into that?

  10. I am wondering how many of you commenting on what happens out in the High Desert have actually been out here or live out here?

    I admit that I don’t know how many people live in Victorville/Hesperia/Adelanto area, but there are 300,000 people living out here in the Antelope Valley. We are the poor stepchildren of LA County because few of you in LA realize what it is really like out here.

  11. I don’t, Michelle, but would appreciate your insight and someone who does.

    Metrolink goes up to Lancaster. There will likely be a High Speed Rail stop in Palmdale in the future with perhaps branches to Northern California and Las Vegas.

    All parts of Los Angeles County, from Lancaster to Long Beach, from Whittier to Malibu, deserve liveable, walkable, bikeable streets and quality public transit.

  12. Thank you, Dan. I admit to being a little hurt by LA Rider’s comment that we shouldn’t even be out here. I, too, feel that we deserve livable, walkable, bikeable streets and quality public transit.

    Our arterials out here all have very high speed limits (50 to 65 mph) and roads have not been designed with livability, walkability or bikeability in mind. The bus system has much room for improvement.

    I feel that the promotion of the freeway is being made by those who think it will help our economy, which really needs help. I’d like to hear suggestions that apply to our community, not based on preconceived notions, but on real concerns.

    What would be alternative solutions — other than a freeway — to improve our economic situation? The way things are going now, I think that freeway may finally be built, because it is seen as something that will bring industry and manufacturing out here. I’m skeptical about that, but all the arguments I’ve heard here on Streetsblog seem to relate to LA and not necessarily to the situation on the ground out here in the AV.

  13. There needs to be an alternative to route 138 (one of the most costly and deadly highway in Southern California). The HDC is a step in the proper direction.

  14. There is a great deal of excess right of way available from LAWA that will be used for this project to keep land acquisition costs down. Additionally the use of public lands and private vacant land will minimize the displacement of homes and business. The main conflict that is expected is from the utility relocation of electrical distribution lines – if a particular alignment is selected.

    The High Dessert Corridor will be a meaningful alternative to route 138. Currently there are several highway improvement projects on route 138 that are facing negative sentiment from the towns folk of Pearblossom and Llano. Improvements such as ADA sidewalks, curbs, drainage, guard rails, turn lanes, elevation leveling, and traffic calming. I can understand the locals perspective of less is more, for such improvements will only increase the use of the highway as the perception spreads that it is safer. Even with the ongoing highway improvement projects route 138 has a long way to go before becoming anything but the deadliest per capita travel way in Sourthern California. Route 138 is fundamentally being used as an expressway instead of the country highway as was intended.

    There can be little doubt that a purpose built expressway (HDC) will reduce traffic volume, deaths, and tort cases on route 138. Hopefully to a level that allows donation of 138 to the county and its local population.

  15. I’m doubling down on Anteploe Vallye real estate as I type this.

    And we’re all doubling down on the suburban pipe dreams smoked up in the oil fed bonanza of the last century.

    What a complete waste of money this project is. We don’t have money to cover maintenance of the roads, highways, and freeways we’re abusing every day – yet all the stops are pulled to pave over yet more land to deliver us unto the salt flats of dried lake beds and dusty mesas with no naturally occurring water.

  16. I can see how a new, 6 billion dollar freeway thru the desert would be beneficial for the long-haul trucking industry. Instead of taking 138, or driving on the congested freeways thru urban Los Angeles, trucks from the heading to Phoenix or Las Vegas or San Diego could detour thru the Antelope valley and then the Inland Empire.

    However, how much less would it cost to build a new freight rail connection? I bet we could build a safe, 4-lane divided highway (with occasional stop lights, instead of expensive overpasses), a dual track freight railroad, and a dual-track, high-speed passenger railroad on this route for less than 6 billion. This would have much higher capacity for moving both passengers and freight.

    I just don’t see the need for an 8-lane, fully grade-separated freeway thru this desert. I’ve driven 138 a couple times, and it wasn’t terribly busy.

  17. @ Michele

    I hear you. I think the tragedy is that if Measure R had been structured differently and still passed, you could have done something like complete the center divider for safety, perhaps widen the road to include bus-only lanes with stations and a separated bike lane on each side.

    Even better, you could have focused transportation money within the existing cities, perhaps by improving Metrolink service.

    I’m not against this massive expressway because I don’t think people up there deserve jobs and a high quality of life, they do. I’m against it because there are better ways to promote economic development through transportation, ways that are more respectful of the environment.

  18. Am not all that read up on it, so am no expert on this project. I believe it may be touted as a truck bypass, to remove some trucks from having to traverse Santa Clarita, the LA basin on the way to the Inland Empire. Congestion relief.

  19. I looked at the project maps and here’s four items that just don’t make sense to me.

    1. Trucks are going to go up this big steep mountain on the I5 near Tejon/Gorman to get to the 14 via the 138? One would think the 58 would be a much smoother way to get to the 14 than taking the steep route.

    2. If this is a truck corridor then why the cross between segment 1 and segment 2? Why does segment 2 continue on to the 14?

    3. If trucks are going to use the corridor to get to the inland empire, then why does the freeway lead way up north to connect to the 15? One would think that the direct route to the inland empire would be to take the 138 as it currently exists.

    4. Segment 1 seems to have an awful lot of 90 degree turns. If I’m going at freeway speed the last thing I want to do is change direction of travel often.

  20. Why do they refer to the “PLANNED Southern California Logistics Airport” when it has been in operation for about ten years now, although not yet fully developed. This facility combines air, rail, and highway freight movement and interchange in an area outside of the crowded L.A. basin. The “high-desert corridor” (as both a motor tollway and a railway) is needed primarily to serve this facility in order to connect freight movements from L.A. and San Bernardino to the Central Valley (Bakersfield and north). It also serves to connect the western L.A. basin with Las Vegas. Currently, the main truck route from the San Bernardino area to the Central Valley uses old highway US 395, a two-lane black top with many dips and rises and one of the most dangerous roads in the country, and one which San Bernardino County has made clear they do not intend to improve. We need to fight for two things: (1) the new corridor must be a TOLL road and must include a RAILWAY right of way.

  21. @Jack

    1. My husband and I took the western portion of the 138 from the 14 to reach I-5 to get up to the bay area and back last month. We saw no large trucks whatsoever. On the other hand, every time we have taken the eastern portion of the 138 to the I-15 on our way to the I-10 to Phoenix, we’ve encountered large trucks on that part of the 138. I think you may be right that trucks are taking the 58 if coming from the north to get to the 14.

    2. I think that segment 1 is where the 138 crosses the 14 and then continues on the 14 south to Palmdale Blvd, which is the 138 until it reaches Four Points. From what I can tell from the little map above, they are continuing from the eastern part of the 138 at the 14 straight east for awhile and then going south to the planned Ave P-8 alignment. Which I am grateful for, because if it came across further south along the western side of the Ave P-8 alignment, it would be going through my residential neighborhood, requiring a lot of eminent domain and loss of a lot of housing. The northern route is in the relative middle of open land.

    3. The 138 at the I-15 is quite a bit south of Victorville. I think part of the purpose is for the freeway to go through the Victorville area.

    4. Making all those 90 degree turns is curious. Maybe that part won’t be freeway?

  22. Jack: I think the map is misleading. I do not think the blue line labeled “segment 1” is intended to be part of the final corridor. In fact, it is already in use as part of what starts out on the east as the 138 corridor. I tried it out a couple of years ago, and it is not very satisfactory, so I went back to using US 395 north from I-15, through Adelanto to Four Corners. The final corridor should be the mostly red line that runs straight between Adelanto (395 and I-15) on the east to Palmdale (14) on the west. As I said in my post, I think the main reason for the new corridor should be to serve the Southern California Logistics terminal located just east of Adelanto (between 395 and I-15) to get the truck traffic off of highway 395 north of Adelanto. Also to provide a direct east-west rail connection to the logistics terminal. Right now, rail traffic must go north to Barstow before turning west.

  23. Some factors here to consider:

    (1) The map is incorrect. Segment 1 will travel from the 14 to the 15 across the “P-8” corridor or nearby with access to the airport grounds and interchanges on the 14 and 15.

    (2) The truck traffic moving from the Central Valley and the Port of Oakland usually comes down the 5 into the basin, across the 210, and up the 15 since there is no direct connector between the 5 and the 15. The 40 has a major missing gap and is a difficult route for truck traffic to move east/west between these two major international trade routes (15 and 5).

    (3) The project will indeed connect the two North County areas of LA and SB Counties, but its primary focus will be to improve traffic congestion, air pollution and safety in the LA Basin by diverting truck traffic that uses capacity and emits pollution in our basin.

    (4) The Antelope Valley is in the AVAQMD, so they do not face the same air pollution issues that are faced in the SCAQMD in the LA Basin.

    (5) The corridor will likely include a rail ROW between Palmdale and Victorville, for high speed rail to connect the DesertXPress and California HSR systems through Palmdale, and perhaps for freight as well.

    (6) The High Desert Corridor is being conceived as a Public Private Partnership based on a toll concession facility model–the up front funding is provided by the private sector firm/group and paid on the back end from demand-driven tolls. Freight tolls are a much higher value than passenger tolls given the greater value of time for trucks. If a truck can cut out 50 miles of congested highway through Santa Clarita, Pasadena, Ontario, etc. and go full speed through the desert, the incentive will be high and thus the toll charged will be higher than normally understood

    (7) Measure R is a 30-year sales tax, so it should plan for the infrustructure needed by 2038. The needs of the Antelope Valley are much different than the needs on the dense Westside or other urbanized areas in the LA Basin. The High Desert Corridor will provide a much-needed transportation infrastructure facility in that region for a down payment of $33 million from Measure R.

    (8) As part of most Public Private Partnership deals with the private sector, the maintenance of the facility will be the responsibility of the private sector. The performance of the facility will likely be part of the contract to ensure private sector incentive to keep the highway safe, maintained and performing. Very different (and better) model than Caltrans.

    (9) larider’s comments are quite unfortunate, but keep in mind that voters in the High Desert supported Measure R as well, and you can’t make a countywide sales tax in a region as diverse as Los Angeles County a success at the ballot box without compromises that reflect the needs of each subregion. Measure R was never intended to be some utopian transit tax, because it would never have passed that way.

  24. Addressing Michele’s comments

    1. I was talking about what will be with the I5 to 14 not what currently is. It is currently a 2 lane old hick highway. The plan says it will become a 6 lane express way.

    2. Correct. Segment 1 is a 4 lane expressway. Segment 2 is a 8 lane freeway/expressway. Either way this cris-cross makes you wonder?

    3. I see you are playing the “purpose of this project” game. The purpose of this project is to keep you guessing what exactly is the purpose of this project:)

    4. The 90 degree turns are part of the 6 lane expressway, not freeway, leading up to Avenue D. Two of those turns are there only to avoid going through Edwards on Avenue E. It’s not like the Air Force is going to give in to eminent domain. The rest of those turns are completely unnecessary even for an expressway. There’s absolutely nothing out there to warrant the turns.

    By the way, I base my findings on the map on page 3 of this report:

    http://www.sbcounty.gov/dpw/transportation/pdf/HDC2presen.pdf

  25. @Jack

    I’m not playing any kind of game. I don’t know why they didn’t want to build it along the 138, except there is a part of the 138 that goes over the mountains before you get to the 15. The High Desert Corridor goes along flat desert land.

    I wasn’t looking at the map you were looking at, my bad. The map on this page shows the thing ending at the 14 and Ave D.

    I’ve already said that I don’t know whether the freeway is necessary. But I do live out here and not down below and it really bugs me when folks who live in LA who have never been here and have no idea about the Antelope Valley make moral pronouncements about it.

  26. I know you’re not playing games. I was just joking. But the planners might be on drugs. They’re not doing this along 138 because they want it to service that airport near victorville. The whole thing is going way out of the way for that airport. It’s not as if one airport, Palmdale airport, is enough. Gotta have two even though the other one doesn’t fit.

    The thing currently ends at 14 and avenue D but eventually will continue onward through my backyard. I’m out in the Tejon/Centennial area. Part of the reason it’s going that way may be because Tejon has a major industrial complex on the 5 below Gorman?

    I agree with you about the folks in LA vs the locals. I noticed when I exchanged a few emails with the regional planning people that they are completely out of touch. If they had to live for two weeks out on my ranch in the far west av they’d change their way of thinking. They make business decisions for the av in downtown Los Angeles. So what are you going to do about it, start your own county?

    Oh, and another point, while we’re on the subject. I looked at Segment 1 on google maps, satellite view. There’s nothing out there but empty fields and yet they shaped the expressway to go up north and then left west instead of in a straight north-west line, the shortest distance between two points. The planners probably didn’t study the pythagorean theorem in 6th grade.

  27. Jack

    The airport at what used to be George AFB is, almost exclusively, a logistics airport for freight. The Palmdale airport, if it is ever activated as a real airport (I stopped holding my breath about 40 years ago), would be mainly for passengers. Also, the SC Logistics Airport is much more than an airport, as it is where rail, interstate highway and air come together at one point for transshipment between modes. Much of the ocean traffic at the L.A. and Long Beach ports goes to the SC Logistics airport by either rail or truck. So the point is for the HDC to serve the SC Logistics Airport. It is also the point at which highway and rail traffic to Las Vegas would pass. Where 138 intercepts I-15 is not suitable for those purposes, although it would be a short cut between San Bernardino and I-15.

    Regarding the part labeled Segment 1, I have driven that, and it was never laid out to be an express bypass to the east of Palmdale. It consists of existing streets laid for local purposes, mostly on a N-S and E-W grid. When they improved the eastern portion of 138 a few years ago, they simply marked that route to keep through traffic headed for Mojave or the Central Valley out of the heavy local traffic through Palmdale and on the 14 Freeway. I don’t think they have any intent of making that part of the final HDC.

  28. @JDR

    Yes, there are active plans for the rail component of this project. Check with Metro or the JPA that runs the project.

  29. Why doesn’t the state allow private funding of this project. In this economy it’s hard to imagine spending $6 Billion on a project in an economically slow area. Most likely the High Desert will always be a suburb of LA. We should be moving away from suburban sprawl and not encouraging it. Let a private industry fund it and make it a toll road.

  30. Here’s a good view of what the area looks like right now. Stark but beautiful. It’d be nice to keep it that way and not have a McDonalds every 3000 feet.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&q=California+138,+Los+Angeles,+California&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=41.139534,90.263672&ie=UTF8&cd=1&geocode=FYw1EAIdXiD1-A&split=0&hq=&hnear=California+138,+Los+Angeles,+California&t=h&layer=c&cbll=34.77565,-118.355213&panoid=sglCY3kv9QkNyjmIL_P5tQ&cbp=12,256.12,,0,4.23&ll=34.658063,-118.001404&spn=0.605472,2.82074&z=9

  31. One of the biggest reasons for this new freeway is due to the fact that the current two lane highway is one of the most dangerous and deadly highways in the State. Take that into account before criticizing the project. Plus since proposed freeway will go through sparsely populated or empty desert, homes and businesses will not have to be bulldozed unlike freeway construction within the city of LA.

  32. I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of ways to make a road more safe than tripling its capacity (which will lead to higher speeds, which is hardly good for safety in American drivers.)

  33. Not really. Heavily used two lane highways are virtually impossible to make safe without dividing it. And what’s the point of dividing a two lane highway without expanding it to me the already growing population. Plus it will give large trucks another route East versus taking the 10 or 210. I love mass transit and trains and feel we need more light rail. But California is not Japan. Trains are not practical everywhere and road improvement and expansion is still necessary in certain circumstances and locations.

  34. Regarding Carter Rubin’s comment. The Center for BioD is trying to stop development in the area you created a link to. Take a look at their mailing adddress on google maps. 8033 Sunset Blvd. There’s a McDonalds 300 not 3000 feet away on the corner of Crescent Heights and Sunset. If they had to live near the nice picture on 138 and travel 1 hour 20 minutes round trip to get to the nearest McDonald’s in Castaic, they’d be singing a far different tune very quickly.

    Now, getting back to the issue at hand. Merritt, your argument for SCLA doesn’t make sense for the following reason. There’s no rule that says Palmdale airport cannot be turned into a freight airport as well. I just don’t buy this mix and interchange of ocean/rail and air freight. Air freight is light. Ocean/rail freight is heavy and bulky. As for segment 1. If you claim the route will not be permanent then why even start to develop it? Think of all of the gas that will be saved with a direct route, shortest distance between two points, instead of this backwards zig-zag out of the way contraption they drew?

    Draw a straight line on a map between Bakersfield and the 138/15 intersection. You’ll notice that you could pretty much create a freeway that travels directly between those two points and it would be situated completely on empty undeveloped land and pass very close to the Palmdale airport. That would be the smartest route an impartial engineer would select. I think the route they chose was a political compromise.

  35. Jack: True, the Palmdale airport could be developed into a logistics port as well, but the SCLA at Victorville has already been under development by a public-private partnership (City of Victorville and Sterling) for about 10 years and is a designated Foreign Trade Zone with a federal customs facility. Check out http://www.logisticsairport.com/. Despite all the talk over the past 40 years, NOTHING is happening at the Palmdale Air Force Plant to turn it into a viable freight or passenger airport. Also, even though Palmdale has both rail and highway access, the heavy rail and highway cargo traffic goes though Victorville, not Palmdale. There is no high-capacity rail line between the ports of L.A. and Long Beach to Palmdale and the single-track line that does run there is owned by Metrolink, who does not want to give up capacity to freight trains (just as the freight railroads do not want Metrolink running on their lines to Victorville). Compare that to the rail infrastructure going up Cajon Pass to Victorville and Barstow.

    Right now, “Segment 1” is simply a line on a map following existing roads. I really don’t think there is plan to do much more than perhaps widen it at a few spots to provide a bypass for truck traffic around Palmdale and Lancaster. And there certainly is no intent or money to build a new freeway directly from Cajon Pass to Bakersfield. The idea is simply to build a relatively straight connection between I-15 and I-5. Right now, not even Bakersfield is connected to I-5 with a freeway/expressway. It is not an engineering issue, but an economic/political one.

  36. Well what’s cheaper? Spend sales tax payers’ money to route a freeway way out of the way to bail out a bunch of SCLA investors or to upgrade Palmdale facilities to handle cargo? Besides, if the SCLA airport was that important you could create a Y shaped freeway. With this SCLA airport being way out of the way you can’t have it both ways. 1) freeway that connects SCLA to I5 2) efficient truck bypass for LA What will end up happening is that trucks will take the 210 anyway because it will be shorter and easier than to take the long way around.

  37. You have to give the Antelope Valley their fair share. Otherwise they will secede. They’ve threatened to do so in the 70’s, and to be quite honest, it’s primarily because of Supervisor Michael Antonovich’s care and feeding that the Antelope Valley and the Santa Clarita Valley hasn’t gotten off and formed their own county. They are suffering under the weight of an influx of Section 8 housing, minimal government services from down below (it literally took two decades for a new courthouse to be built, named – deservedly so – for Antonovich), and the high taxes of LA County. Even so, they voted for Measure R by a majority – not a supermajority like many cities down below, but a majority nonetheless. And unlike Measure R funding actual roadway construction like $264 million for the I-5 expansion through the Norwalk Narrows and $780 million to the 710 tunnel, the High Desert Corridor just gets funding for environmental work. No Measure R money will be spent on constructing the High Desert Corridor, unless the SR-138 “Operational Enhancement” money gets redirected. Even the $200 million for that is a drop in the bucket for a full freeway.

    Expanding AVTA, the local transit agency, is not a good idea. AVTA is proposing a Bus Rapid Transit down Sierra Highway, which is a giant waste of money when your existing bus route along that street doesn’t get 30 passengers an hour. An MTA line getting less than 30 passengers per hour is a line scheduled for cancellation. The Antelope Valley has great bicycle facilities – the dedicated bikeway along Sierra Highway is excellent. Of course, it’s useless six months out of the year where the temperatures are high and the dust is excessive.

    Let’s build the High Desert Corridor, and let’s build it now while construction costs are low. Let’s toll it so that operation costs are covered by tolls, and let’s reserve enough right of way for high speed rail down the center and space for a reroute of the Palmdale Cutoff for UPRR should they so choose. Failure to do so would break the promises made to the voters of the Antelope Valley, not to mention hurt the region’s economy through inefficient goods movement.

  38. “You have to give the Antelope Valley their fair share. Otherwise they will secede. They’ve threatened to do so in the 70’s, and to be quite honest, it’s primarily because of Supervisor Michael Antonovich’s care and feeding that the Antelope Valley and the Santa Clarita Valley hasn’t gotten off and formed their own county.”

    ——————

    I don’t know why they wouldn’t want to secede anyway. It is utterly ridiculous to have a County of 14 million people governed by a Board of five Supervisors. We should have an elected County Executive and Legislature instead.

    In any event, I see no loss for Los Angeles County if AV & SCV secede and a net plus for them with more responsive services. They can still participate with the Metrolink Commuter Rail system like the other Southern California counties.

  39. Bike lanes NEED to be included in the project. Gas won’t always be cheap. Little by little, everybody is turning against the US and are getting of tired of supplying US with their diminishing oil.

  40. I think electric cars will do just fine in one of the best solar markets in the USA.

    Vanishingly few people are going to ride 50 miles in 111 degree temps.

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METRO AND CALTRANS HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS ON HDC

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To continue informing the public about one of the most comprehensive transportation plans ever proposed for north Los Angeles County and San Bernardino County, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will host a series of public hearings to receive input on a Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental […]

High Desert Corridor Public Meetings

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The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and the State of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) are hosting four community meetings in April for the High Desert Corridor (HDC) project. The proposed 63-mile corridor to link Antelope Valley with Victor Valley is currently in the Draft Environmental Impact Study/Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS/EIR) planning […]

Public Meetings for the proposed 63-mile High Desert Corridor

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Four community update meetings are scheduled Jan. 24, 26, 31 and Feb. 1 in the Antelope Valley and Victor Valley. The Victorville meeting on Jan. 31 is scheduled to be streamed live on metro.net/HDC, making the meeting available for viewing and accessible for online public participation. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and the […]

Metro and Caltrans to hold a High Desert Corridor Rail Webcast

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The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and the State of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) are hosting a live webinar to discuss the High Desert Corridor’s (HDC) potential rail component and connections to the Palmdale Transportation Center in Palmdale and Desert Xpress in Victorville. The webcast will be streamed live on Feb. 26, 2014 […]

High Desert Corridor Project Update

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The High Desert Corridor is Moving Along The project proposes to link SR-14 in Los Angeles County with SR-18 in San Bernardino County. This connection would link some of the fastest growing residential, commercial, and industrial growth areas in Southern California, including the cities of Palmdale, Lancaster, Adelanto, Victorville and the Town of Apple Valley. […]