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Thursday, June 1, 2023

More barriers coming for 241 toll road to prevent off-roading – Orange County Register

Q. Hi Honk: A recent column addressed the excellent idea of the channelizers on the northbound 241 toll road just before the 91 Freeway. However, when the lanes are moving freely, like in the early mornings, I have seen idiots end up in the wrong lanes and watched them slow to a crawl, creating major danger, then cutting over the dirt median at the north end of the channelizers to the other side. Can the toll roads please consider k-rails in the dirt divider to stop this dangerous practice?

– Jeff Arnold, Irvine 

A. Honk’s dad told a very young Honk: If you are about to miss an exit, ramp or street, just miss it and circle back – too many bad things can happen if you try to squeeze into a lane at the last moment.

And that stretch, as you know, Jeff, has had problems for years with people lane jumping.

On the northbound 241, four lanes peel off for the 91: a pair for those who are westbound, and another two for the eastbound. The eastbound lanes can get quite busy at times, so some selfish drivers would take the westbound lanes and slide in late to the congested eastbound ones, cutting off courteous, patient motorists.

In 2016, double-white lines were added, but that wasn’t enough. Early last year, those channelizers – poles that bend if hit – were installed for a mile to stop that lane jumping.

It sounds like more barriers are needed to keep those not even in the transition lanes at all from going off-road to make the 91 from the 241.

The agency that manages the 241 and some other Orange County toll roads is aware of the problem, said Eugene Fields, a spokesman for the Transportation Corridor Agencies.

“In coordination with Caltrans, TCA plans to extend the channelizers through this area to help prevent vehicles from crossing over, and we are currently working with Caltrans and the environmental-resource agencies on the schedule of the installation.”

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