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'Freeway Construction Project Is Dangerous' Says Local Man

Construction at the Van Nuys Boulevard off ramp of the 101 Freeway is creating a dangerous situation say people who use that freeway exit.

No question about it, traffic congestion is firing people up across the San Fernando Valley.

In the Sherman Oaks morning rush hour, it can take nearly 20 minutes just to travel the one long section of Ventura Boulevard between Van Nuys and Sepulveda Boulevards.

People sitting in their cars, going nowhere, are clearly furious.

But another traffic issue generating many complaints involves the Eastbound 101 Freeway off ramp at Van Nuys Boulevard. The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has reduced the number of lanes on the ramp from three to two as part of a construction project that will actually widen the freeway exit.

"What happens is, the reduction in lanes on the off ramp is creating a major danger that extends back on to the 101 freeway," says Richard Zankan who lives in Tarzana but frequently visits his daugher who lives in Sherman Oaks.

"I've witnessed accidents there, somebody is going to get killed there because  the backup of cars on the 101 freeway extends back over 150 yards, people are cutting in and out of the line up at high speeds," added Zankan.

" This has been going on forever, how long is this construction going to last?" asks Zankan, with fury in his eyes.

"The project started in February 2011 and we're going to be working there until August 2012," said Patrick Chandler, a spokesperson for Caltrans.

How many accidents have occured there?

"We don't have any accident data on the off ramp itself," said Chandler.

He explained that accidents on the freeway exit can be covered by the California Hyway Patrol or the Los Angeles Police Department.

"There may not be an exact count of accidents at that particular location because various agencies cover it," added Chandler.

"It can take you nearly half an hour to get off the freeway at Van Nuys Boulevard," says Claudia Zankan who also makes regular trips into Sherman Oaks.

"They've got to fix that situation soon," added Zankan. "It's more than just an inconvenience,it's creating an unsafe situation and nobody is doing anything about it."

Caltrans contends that widening the offramp will speed things up eventually.

"The entire project will be finally completed by summer of 2013, that means all the finishing touches will be done by then. But the offramp widening should be finished by August of this year," said Chandler.

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Lisa April 26, 2012 at 05:50 PM
I 'used' to take this off ramp every night on my way home from the dreaded WLA area, via the mess of the 405. I live on Coldwater but preferred this exit to get on to Riverside. When they first started working on this exit, they didn't even have a proper lane for the off ramp! It was terrifying! Without warning, the lane for the off ramp bled into the right lane of the freeway and you couldn't do anything about it except hold your breath. They finally fixed that particular problem but now the traffic backs way up onto the freeway making it another hazzard. I now usually go farther down and take Coldwater, but its sill a scary stretch right there. I think it would help if we would actually see some progress... or at least construction crews every now and then. I have yet to see either. Regarding the lack of accident counts... that is ridiculous. In this day and age, there is no reason, other than the right hand not talking to the left, that they can't have a centralized data center with that info.
Leon of Encino April 30, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Caltrans, LADOT, LAPD & CHP don't care if you get killed. They set up stuff like this all the time. Try the westbound 101 exit @ Canoga, the silly no right on red back up the cars almost to DeSoto in the AM rush. I have seen nasty pile ups & rear enders. Meanwhile LADOT never rsponds, CALTRANS says they are in charge, & they all go home with a $200k pension & people die, crash or get hurt......
Skraeling May 02, 2012 at 08:17 PM
How many years has it been and how many more before the 118 and 70 project is finished? it is dangerous...and to be avoided if possible.
S O liver September 20, 2012 at 07:36 AM
I called a councilman. I told my complaints of SAFETY, not just inconvenience. The signage is just another issue, seeing as how they (whoever decided this...hate you!) allow the two lanes to both turn left while EVERY CAR ON THE RIGHT IS WAITING TO TURN RIGHT!!!!! Yes, I live RIGHT THERE off the exit and daily take 15-30 min to get off the 101, while at most times, cars are whizzing by at over 60 mph, and some hard turning into the exit lane to avoid waiting at the end of that dreaded line waiting to exit. Yeah we may have crappy people who cut us off here, dangerously because they are so much better andore important than normal citizens who patiently wait...but this construction has gone on WAY TOO LONG with no one remotely close by working on ANY regular basis. I MAYBE see workers once a week. Jeez, the idiots who spray paint vandalizing the newly built wall work harder than any of the construction workers!!!!!!!!!! Hate this whole thing!!!!!! Booooooo
S O liver September 20, 2012 at 07:40 AM
Agree Leon, I drive from one crazy exit to another, canoga! Practically get killed here regularly...stupid decisions...

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