Dynamic Ramp Metering to Assuage Traffic on the 405 Sepulveda Pass Corridor

Councilmember Mike Bonin Works to Reduce Traffic for Palisadian Commuters

By JAMES GAGE | Reporter

As technological development continues apace, whizzing onward toward a brave new world, it is ironic that people still spend their days stuck in traffic.

Councilmember Mike Bonin, who represents the 11th District, is now proposing a new way to fight traffic on one of the busiest traffic corridors affecting Palisadians commuting along the 405 Sepulveda Pass Corridor (I-405 from I-10 to SR-101).

“As you know, traffic on Sunset near the 405 is horrible, and it impacts the quality of life of anyone who drives it, especially during the late afternoon and evening commute,” Bonin wrote in a March 5 statement. “I have committed to exploring every option to try to improve it, and we’re about to move forward on some of them.”

The proposal is what’s known as an Integrated Corridor Management concept. The idea is to use technology to sync traffic lights on local roads with freeway on-ramp meters to improve the flow of traffic in local neighborhoods.

This is done by using Dynamic Corridor Ramp Metering (DCRMS) and the deployment of a Corridor Decision Support System (DSS) to coordinate with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s arterial traffic signal system on Sepulveda Boulevard.

According to a project fact sheet issued by Caltrans District 7, the city of Los Angeles and the office of Bonin earlier this month: “DCRMS is a system application which employs an adaptive ramp metering algorithm that uses real time congestion data to calculate ideal metering rates at each metered on-ramp along a defined corridor.”

The purpose of DCRMS is “to improve the operational effectiveness of ramp metering systems and traffic signal systems.”

The plan will help Transportation Management Center moderators respond to adverse conditions and adjust ramp metering rates dynamically.

One issue addressed in the project fact sheet is the lack of sensors on parallel arterial routes branching out from the Sepulveda corridor. Part of the project’s solution is to install Bluetooth/Wi-Fi sensors that will measure travel times along Sepulveda and Sunset boulevards.

11th District Councilmember Mike Bonin

The project is already underway, with a March 2019 contract start. Sensors will be installed in September this year, followed by an initial installment of DCRMS to begin integration testing in March 2020.

In April 2020, the DSS will be installed and testing will begin. Between May and August 2020, Caltrans will conduct field operational testing.

The project is estimated for completion by February 2021.

If the project succeeds, it will result in dramatically reduced congestion and delays, improved travel times, and more traffic flow data for future improvements to the DSS.

Bonin’s “Sunset Standard,” which requires entities seeking land use approvals along Sunset Boulevard to reduce traffic impact, has already greatly benefited the traffic around the Archer School for Girls and the Brentwood School. Brentwood School is required to reduce peak hour trips at its east campus by 40 percent by 2027-28.

“The team is now on board and the project is in design,” Bonin wrote. “It should be fully operational next year.”

Bonin also recently took a ride on the newly unveiled the LANow shuttle, the city’s first on-demand neighborhood shuttle servicing Del Ray, Venice, Mar Vista and Palms.