LAX Chaos – Is There No Solution 

Our local airport has been listed as number 10 (10 being worst) on the list of crummy airports in the US. The reason – traffic congestion. A friend recently took Uber to catch a flight and the time from the entry to the airport to her terminal, 45 minutes. People were getting out of their cars six blocks from the airport entry and walking.

The wizards at the airport have huge plans to fix this problem including people movers, monorails, and off airport check-ins. Fair enough. But what do we do in the meantime? Is there no stopgap out of the box measures that could be instituted to provide some relief now?

I travel through LAX as much as the next guy and have some ideas.

  1. Tell Delta to complete their construction project that is blocking traffic lanes at terminal 3 now. They can do it; they just need a little motivation.
  2. Hold a meeting of all off airport parking operations and get them to agree to let people ride their shuttles to the terminals even if they don’t park in their facilities. A few people per shuttle would reduce hundreds if not thousands of cars from the on airport chaos. (And who knows, maybe the parking lots would get more business.)
  3. If that won’t work, Set up a drop off area nearby (one exists) where people can take airport provided shuttles to and from the airport. Designate a specific lane for shuttles and specific areas for drop off and pick up.
  4. Motivate car rental companies to share rental vans – some already do so. Likewise hotels.
  5. Put skycaps on the curbs to help people get their bags in and out of their cars quickly.

The list goes on and on. I just get the feeling that the management at the airport is caught in a ‘big fix’ scenario and in the meantime, the rest of us are suffering.

One more thing. LAX is laid out like a giant horseshoe.  Why not make the inner lane for vehicles exiting the airport only. Once you are in it, you must leave. No stops, no traffic signals. Require pedestrians to use existing bridges from the parking decks to the terminals and do away with the traffic lights at those cross walks.

The airport is spending billions to recreate itself. But what do we do in the meantime.


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