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Unusual off-ramp markings trying to persuade us to slow down

Q. What are these markings on some freeway exits, such as on the Jeffrey Road off-ramp from the northbound I-5 Freeway?

– David Fickes, Irvine

A. They are a bit unusual indeed – thickset, horizontal striping in the middle and sides of the lanes in addition to the traditional vertical striping.

“The speed-reduction markings are used to reduce motorist speeds at off-ramps that have a curve and where the department has observed a history of run-off-the-road collisions,” Nathan Abler, a Caltrans spokesman, said in an email.

The markings get closer and closer together. You might say they are trying to fool your mind – in a good way.

“The markings give the illusion of the vehicle speeding up as it approaches the markings, which causes the motorist to slow down,” Abler explained.

There are at least several spots in Orange County where the markings are deployed. But don’t expect to see them in too many places – then, they might lose their effectiveness.

Q. What will happened to the money that was allocated to the expansion of the 710 Freeway? I’m sure it was in the high millions of dollars if not a billion.

– Jim Yundt, La Canada

A. In May, LA Metro killed off the plan to widen the 710, from Long Beach to East Long Beach. Supervisor Janice Hahn, an LA Metro board member, prompted the 10-0 vote.

There is $750 million remaining in the kitty, raised by local sales taxes approved by voters. The widening would have cost an estimated $6 billion, much of it coming from the state and federal governments – which passed on the idea.

So there is at least $750 million to improve things along the 19-mile stretch.

“The intention with Hahn’s motion is that Metro will once again seek significant federal and state funding, only this time with their support, for a set of projects that better addresses their concerns while seeking to improve air quality, mobility and safety along and near the corridor,” said Liz Odendahl, a spokeswoman for the supervisor.

The LA Metro board will ultimately decide on the new projects, pending more cash from the other governments.

Proposals that have been floated already include sounds walls and air-filtration systems for schools. Expect to hear about proposals for off-freeway construction projects as well and mass-transit enhancements.

HONKIN’ FACT: Last year, 11,780 people died on American roads, highways and freeways because of speeding, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That was a 5% jump from the year before.

To ask Honk questions, reach him at He only answers those that are published. To see Honk online: Twitter: @OCRegisterHonk

Source: Orange County Register

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