Metro showcases refined fast bus designs for Eagle Rock – Streetsblog Los Angeles
At two community meetings last week, Metro presented new details about its North Hollywood project to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). The new information includes quantifying two options under consideration for the most contested portion of the line: Colorado Boulevard through the community of Eagle Rock in Los Angeles.
Metro’s BRT NoHo-to-Pasadena project will be a new line approximately 30 km in length extending from North Hollywood Station to the L Line in Old Town Pasadena. The project covers the cities of Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena and Los Angeles. Through Eagle Rock, community advocates promoted a design, called Beautiful Boulevard, that would reduce the lanes of traffic for drivers, in order to preserve the existing street features. In May, Los Angeles City Council member Kevin de LeÃ³n – and now mayoral candidate – said Metro should consider maintaining two lanes of traffic for drivers. This sent the project back for another round of community contribution meetings.
Video renderings of two options for the Eagle Rock segment of the BRT project from North Hollywood to Pasadena of LA Metro. The first video shows the option that keeps 2 traffic lanes and eliminates 210 parking spaces.
1/2 https://t.co/bPdLAfC22e pic.twitter.com/BtiutBzNh3
– numble (@numble) September 27, 2021
Last week’s meetings presented refined designs for the two remaining options, now referred to as “single lane of travel” (in each direction) and “two lane of travel”. These two alternatives were presented in a video hover rendering and in an aerial view, a representative detail of which is shown below.
As noted by the Beautiful Boulevard Coalition (see comparison page), the single-track alternative – which is largely the same as Beautiful Boulevard’s design – would add new transit while preserving existing medians, trees, on-street parking, and bike lanes.
Eagle Rock architect Michael MacDonald notes that the “One Lane” option is a thoughtful evolution of the Eagle Rock community’s “Beautiful Boulevard” concept, which defines Colorado Boulevard as a destination, while “the elimination Street parking, pick-up areas, and alfresco dining called for by the âTwo Laneâ option threaten to bankrupt many of our local restaurants and kid-friendly businesses. “
The Two Travel Lanes option would be half a mile long westbound in the bus lanes between 134 Freeway and Dahlia Drive.
Metro’s analysis also distinguishes between the two options:
Metro performed a detailed analysis of the potential changes to on-street parking.
Preserving two lanes of automobile traffic, while adding the BRT, would result in the loss of two-thirds of the existing on-street parking. The single-lane alternative would lead to the removal of a third of the existing parking lot; this option would mean that sufficient parking would remain sufficient to meet current peak demand (in fact before COVID).
Metro modeled travel habits for both options.
Metro found that reducing one lane of traffic would, appropriately, result in fewer drivers crossing Eagle Rock. Overall, the Single Travel Lane option is expected to result in a twenty percent reduction in car traffic on Colorado – and even a nine percent reduction in the number of cars on neighboring Eagle Rock Boulevard. Metro also found negligible overflow traffic on Hill Drive and Yosemite Drive.
Metro’s traffic analysis shows that rush hour corridor driving times would increase with the single lane option. During the morning rush hour, it would take 14 minutes to drive from Broadway to Hwy 134, while the BRT would make the same trip in just 9 minutes. Likewise, during rush hour, the BRT would travel at 15mph, while drivers would go at 9mph.
While the final design decisions for Eagle Rock rest with Metro’s board of directors, one of the key decision makers is the LeÃ³n board member. During his year on city council, de LeÃ³n kept a fairly low profile on transport issues. If elected mayor, de LeÃ³n becomes the most powerful person on Metro’s board, controlling essentially four out of thirteen votes. Can Angelenos count on de LeÃ³n to put transit riders first, fairness and climate – for all of LA County if he doesn’t do it in his own district?
Despite de LeÃ³n’s support, to date, to retain two lanes of traffic for drivers, some of Eagle Rock’s more reactionary anti-transit elements are calling for his recall, in part due to their perception that he is too pro-BRT.
There are a few more BRT NoHo-Pasadena meetings coming up. Metro and de LeÃ³n are hosting in-person meetings this Saturday, October 2, with limited time slots. Register for in-person meetings via Metro’s Google form. At 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on October 7, Metro will host virtual community meetings focused on the BRT project across the city of Burbank; find Burbank meeting access details on The Source of Metro.