By Tom DiPrima
Golden State Gateway Coalition
Every time I get behind the wheel of my vehicle, and take to the freeways, I am reminded about both the importance of what the Gateway Coalition is working to accomplish and the enormity of the task. I remain optimistic.
Our goal of improving safety and mobility on north Los Angeles County’s main roads remains valid: Interstate 5, State Route 14, SR 138 and The Old Road. Evidence of progress can be seen and documented: I-5’s pavement rehabilitation project is coming to a close, the capacity enhancement/carpool lanes design is done and the project is fully funded. The “bottleneck study” on SR 14 has been completed and decongestion improvement projects have been defined and recommended. On SR138, both Caltrans and CHP have been responsive to immediate local concerns for safety and Metro is focused on enhancements for the long term. The L.A. County Department of Public Works’ plans to widen The Old Road are progressing, with more than 70% of the funding secured.
What does the Gateway Coalition do and why is the work important? The Coalition has been advocating for safety and mobility improvements on north Los Angeles County roads since its founding in 2002. Initially focusing on the Interstate 5 corridor, the Coalition has broadened its scope to include other main thoroughfares and continues to support allies working to improve other roads and even other modes of transportation.
Ultimately, we all want a transportation system that works to move people and goods safely, effectively and efficiently. And so, we continue to seek support for key projects from the public, from our elected representatives and from the agencies on the front lines that are responsible for maintaining and improving our transportation systems.
The work is important because of the impact transportation has on our quality of life. Getting where you need to go in a safe and timely manner is important at least and critical at best. We need roads to receive and deliver the goods and services that are essential for us to function in our jobs, in our homes, our businesses and our communities. And, as we move to alternative fuels and vehicles, safe, well-maintained roads will still be essential.
So, when I look back to what we have accomplished, and look ahead to what is underway, I am encouraged to stay optimistic.