By Art Marroquin
A study examining whether motorists headed into Los Angeles International Airport should pay tolls was requested Friday by City Councilman Bill Rosendahl.
The study would specifically examine congestion pricing for LAX- bound vehicles, which could lead to higher tolls during busy traffic periods, Rosendahl said.
"Our traffic requires us to think out of the box," said Rosendahl, whose district includes LAX. "I will leave no stone unturned in trying to find ways to free our streets, especially Westside streets, of traffic gridlock."
Under the proposal, residents from outside Los Angeles County would pay a higher fee than local motorists driving to the airport. An automated people-mover would provide a free alternative for those who park elsewhere.
Funds raised from the tolls would go toward mass-transit projects, such as more FlyAway bus service and the proposed Metro Green Line extension to LAX, Rosendahl said.
More than 25.6 million vehicles entered the central terminal area last year, according to LAX officials.
The city's Transportation Department, chief legislative analyst and administrative office will present the study to the City Council's Transportation Committee for review.
"To provide comprehensive long-term solutions, we must examine the whole spectrum of congestion-reducing strategies and decide which are the right fit for our city," said Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, who leads the council's Transportation Committee.