California governor again vetoes bill to extend use of carpool lanes

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 10/15/2015

An effort billed as improving congestion in Southern California has been turned back again by the governor.

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that called for freeing up carpool lanes in the Los Angeles area during non-peak hours and weekends. It is the second time in three years the governor used his veto power to kill the bill.

“I vetoed a nearly identical bill last session,” Brown said in his veto message. “I continue to believe that carpool lanes are especially important in Los Angeles County to reduce pollution and maximize the use of freeways. Therefore, we should continue to retain the current 24/7 carpool lane control.”

The bill won widespread approval in the statehouse. Senate lawmakers voted unanimously to advance the bill after Assembly lawmakers voted in favor of the bill with a 77-1 vote.

As approved by state lawmakers, the bill sought to affect traffic on the 134 Freeway from North Hollywood to Pasadena and on the 210 Freeway from Pasadena to Glendora.

AB210 called for setting up a pilot program similar to how Northern California limits carpool usage between 6 and 10 a.m. and again between 4 and 7 p.m. on weekdays.

Assemblyman Paul Gatto, D-Los Angeles, said that carpool lanes are supposed to provide an incentive for carpooling during peak travel hours, and be good for the environment.

 “Carpool lanes are intended to increase the capacities of our freeways ... (but) when motorists are stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic at midnight while carpool lanes sit empty, those goals are not met,” Gatto said in a recent statement.

The bill could come up for a veto override attempt.

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