With the year coming to a close, it's the perfect time to reflect back on the state of things. And we all know, of course, that the 405 project unfortunately has failed to meet expectations. Rather than being completed in May 2013, the 405 project is still very much a part of all of our daily lives, so we thought it might be worthwhile to highlight the ups, and downs, of the project. And so we present: Angelenos Against Gridlock's Scorecard on the 405 Project.
Construction Speed: F.
There's a lot of blame to go around, but the bottom line is, the project is more than a year delayed.
Every day of delay impacts hundreds of thousands of people considering that this section of the 405 is the third busiest freeway in the entire USA.
And, sorry, find it hard to agree with claims that work is proceeding 24/7 -- you can often drive the whole length of the 405 project on the freeway on a Sunday without seeing one worker.
Earlier in the year, we would have rated the signage an F, with barely visible exit closure warning signs, missing/covered up signage, inaccurate electronic messaging signs, and in general, a sad state of affairs. But Metro, Caltrans, and Kiewit have stepped up their game, and signage has drastically improved. Our thanks go out to the project team for these noticeable improvements.
Responsiveness to Questions/Concerns: D.
We think the 405 Project has some friendly, professional people working for it, the fact is that for far too many, it's too hard to get a response back from emails. Whether it's a question of understaffing, or a lack of accountability for following up to emails, we think things need to be done better.
We do credit the 405 team for implementing our idea of electronic messaging signs--after the LA Times picked up on the idea, too, with an opinion blog piece.
Website/Social Media: C-
Perhaps Metro lacks the sort of website/data usability experts that a project that impacts such a vast number of people demands, but the 405 Project ramp/street closure data is presented in an exceptionally un-skimable format that makes its practical usability almost pointless.
Metro often takes many days to post slides from outreach meetings (if at all) on the web. We only wish that the exceptional kind of outreach seen with the Metro Westside Subway Extension, or the 710 Outreach meetings, was used here (livestreaming, savvy social media use, etc.)
Bike/Pedestrian Safety (on Wilshire, etc.): F-
Over the course of the project thus far, frequent absolute disregard for bike and pedestrian safety, including pedestrian/bike access along Wilshire to the VA hospital for Veterans is extremely dangerous and appalling. Conditions have improved more recently as the project has progressed, but the conditions were appalling for far too long.