Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wilshire Bus Only Lanes: The Above-Ground Subway to the Sea

The LA City Council voted to move ahead with the EIR for the LA City Wilshire Bus Only Lanes (Streetsblog Reports). This project would improve transit travel times in the Wilshire Corridor. You could think of it as the low cost peak-hour above-ground subway (that runs in mixed traffic through Beverly Hills and Santa Monica).

Paul Koretz from CD 5 has taken a page from David Vahedi's playbook and bowed to Westwood Wilshire Corridor Condo interests (some of which fear change and the realization that they don't live on a two-lane back country road) in expressing skepticism over the project. Paul is a 25-year member of the Sierra Club and surely is aware of the positive environmental implications of improving transit service using natural-gas fueled buses. While localized environmental concerns should be studied in any project, I suspect the Corridor Condo interests will seek to use the CEQA/NEPA process to derail any attempt to change the pastoral nature of their homestead, even if it provides a street buffer that only professionally-trained drivers will have access to. The regional environmental implications of improving transit service will be favorable.

Schedule permitting, Sirinya and I will be at the Westwood meeting.

Here's the latest from Metro:
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Metro, the City of Los Angeles, and Los Angeles County are considering the feasibility of implementing a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project on Wilshire Boulevard. This joint effort will be evaluated through the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment (EIR/EA).


The EIR/EA, which will be prepared in compliance with State and Federal environmental requirements, will examine the potential for dedicated curbside bus lanes during the morning and evening rush hours along Wilshire Boulevard, from just west of the I-110 freeway to the Santa Monica city line, excluding the City of Beverly Hills.

These same three agencies began evaluating the proposed Wilshire BRT Project in November 2008 as part of preparing an Initial Study/Environmental Assessment (IS/EA). An EIR/EA is now being prepared as a consequence of input received at several community meetings held along the corridor at that time, additional public input, and technical analyses that have been conducted.

Please join us at any of the four (4) scoping meetings to learn more about the Proposed Project and Project Alternatives. These meetings will provide the public the opportunity to comment on the project and any potential effects of the project that should be considered in the Draft EIR/EA. The content presented at these four meetings will be identical, so please make sure to attend at the time and location most convenient for you.

Monday, October 5, 6:00 – 8 pm
Felicia Mahood Senior Center
11338 Santa Monica Bl
Los Angeles, CA 90025


Wednesday, October 7, 6:00 – 8 pm
Wilshire United Methodist Church
4350 Wilshire Bl
Los Angeles, CA 90010


Thursday, October 8, 6:00 – 8 pm
Westwood Presbyterian Church
10822 Wilshire Bl
Los Angeles, CA 90024


Tuesday, October 13, 6:00 – 8 pm
Good Samaritan Hospital, Moseley-Salvatori Conference Center
637 Lucas Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90017

All meeting locations are accessible by public transit. Please go to Metro.net to plan your trip. Parking is also available. Garage parking at Good Samaritan is not validated and costs $8.


For additional information or questions, please visit the Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit EIR/EA website at metro.net/Wilshire.

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