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Top 2012 Headlines – Traffic Edition: Ships, Shuttles and Wheels

A racially charged bus controversy, the Space Shuttle Endeavour fly-over and a debate about adding toll roads to the 405 freeway marked 2012.

With the nearby freeways, airfields and seaports, traffic issues played a big part in the local news landscape of 2012.

The Year in Traffic

A plan to add toll lanes to the 405 Freeway met with stiff opposition from a number of local residents and city leaders. 

Originally, the San Diego Freeway Improvement Project included three construction options – four if you count the “no build” option.

In general, the options were to add one to two lane to each side of the freeway or a controversial proposal to add one lane and one toll lane to each side.

A number of local groups disagreed with the toll roads

The OCTA chairman and OCTA staff said the option that included toll roads would move the most drivers through the area as quickly as possible.

Toll roads were eventually rejected in October, and officials voted to add one new lane to each side of the 405 freeway.  

A spokesman for OCTA said that the move did not prohibit future toll lanes being added.

Bus Service

In June, Long Beach voted to cancel bus service in Seal Beach amid calls of racism. 

Though and Long Beach officially ended the service in August.

Construction

A number of construction projects on the 405, the 605 and the 22 Freeways caused lane closures off and on throughout the year.

Perhaps the biggest was the 11-month closure of parts of the Seal Beach Boulevard Bridge during demolition and construction, which is still ongoing. 

Shuttle

Also this year, we had visits from at least three high-profile vehicles:  a high tech warship and a .

Accidents

Unfortunately our communities saw a spate of traffic collisions this year, as well.

  • A car hit a man on Seal Beach Boulevard near Rossmoor
  • A bus hit a bus stop and critically injured someone on Seal Beach Boulevard
  • A head-on crash left two hospitalized
  • A crash off the 605 Freeway embankment injured two
  • A driver allegedly struck three-cyclists
  • A 22-year-old was killed in a crash on the 605
  • A crash on Lampson left one dead
  • Leisure World saw two fatal hit and runs collisions in its borders – one allegedly involving a Leisure World woman and another allegedly involving a Seal Beach man driving under the influence of alcohol.

Rescuers

Two men -- one a Seal Beach resident -- rescued a man from a pickup truck that had crashed into the San Gabriel River.

Both men were nominated for the American Red Cross “Hometown Hero” award.

Click here to see the Top 2012 Headlines -- Business Edition.

A year is a long time, and we’ve no doubt missed an important transportation story.

Please tell us in the comments what we might have missed.

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