Council Approves Moving Forward With Wilshire Bus Lanes

11_13_08_wilshire_bus.jpgBus lane free. Photo: LA Wad/Flickr

The city of Los Angeles’ Wilshire Boulevard Bus-Only Lane project
took another step forward at this morning’s full city council hearing.
The project would implement peak-hour bus-only lanes from Pico Union to
Santa Monica. It’s calculated to speed bus times by about 25%. More information at Metro’s project website.

Last week, despite John McCain’s best efforts, the
U.S. Senate appropriated $13.5M in FY2010 funding for the
Wilshire project, bringing the project’s total federal funding to
$23.3M.

The City Council’s Transportation Committee recently approved a motion that clears the way for the city to move forward
with a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the project. After
Transportation approves it, the bus lane motion goes before the full
city council.

At today’s council meeting, nobody showed up to speak in
opposition to the Wilshire project. At the very start of the meeting,
the motion actually initially passed quickly via consent calendar. Just
when a half-dozen Bus Riders Union advocates were getting ready to
leave, Councilmember Rosendahl moved for the motion to be reconsidered,
so that the Department of Transportation (LADOT) and project proponents
could speak. A couple hours later, LADOT and bus riders spoke on behalf
of the project. Councilmember Koretz again expressed skepticism;
Councilmember LaBonge again expressed ideas for other alignments. The
full council unanimously approved the motion.

LADOT will soon be hosting a series of public hearings to get input on the EIR. Hearings are  expected to begin in October.