Thursday, November 18, 2010

Can the richest neighborhoods be exempt from bus lanes?

Can the richest neighborhoods be exempt from bus lanes?  Richer cities Santa Monica and Beverly Hills are already not participating in the bus-only lane.  Now, Metro and LA DOT must decide whether the richest section of the City of Los Angeles that the bus lane passes through will also be exempt.

Here's a look at median household income (2004) around the Wilshire Corridor.  Blue = highest incomes, yellow = lowest incomes.

Note that UCLA students are poor... Wilshire Blvd is in red.

And here's a look at traffic along the Westwood to Beverly Glenn segment in question:

Note that there is substantial traffic east of Manning

Residents are worried that subtracting a general purpose traffic lane will lead to more traffic.  However, if residents are worried about neighborhood traffic rather than transit riders, they are misdirecting their concern. I argue that the majority of PM peak traffic congestion  in Westwood and Brentwood is a direct result of the current metering system which restricts access to the 405.  Vehicles arrive at the 405 onramps a rate faster than the meter allows access to the freeway.  This backs up vehicles seeking to enter the freeway, essentially turning Wilshire Blvd into a waiting area, which creates congested traffic through on side streets Westwood and Brentwood even when there is little congestion on the 405.  There is a real trade-off between congestion in these neighborhoods and on the 405 that residents in these areas do not seem to be aware of.  More on this in a future blog entry.


Neel said...

Great video!

sunspot said...

Juan good video considering the Condo Canyon residents are claiming that buses experience no delays anywhere on that segment yet their methodology was to spot check bus speeds instead of timing how much buses are stuck at intersections due to traffic. Eastbound traffic is even worse during PM peak.

Juan Matute said...

Do any of you know where I can get a copy of the traffic study the residents funded?

jericho1ne said...

Eastbound PM traffic is horrible. I haven't taken the 720 due to this reason in almost a year.

Joe said...

Good point about the metering problem.

Herbie said...

My thoughts, and sample text for an email to your County Supervisor, here. If you feel strongly that we should preserve the entire project, please click this link and send your Supervisor an email.