Transportation Committee Agenda: Bike Corralls, Bus Rapid Transit, and Measure R

This week’s Transportation Committee hearing doesn’t have all of the agenda items that we hoped to see, but does have an interesting one concerning use of Measure R funds to widen a road in the San Fernando Valley.  Along with a report on the Wilshire Bus-Only program and one directing LADOT and City Planning to move on Bike Corrals, this item is a highlight on an unusually small committee agenda.

4_12_10_corral.jpgImage from the Bike Corral motion.

Bike Corrals –  If you’re not familiar with the concept of a bike corral, you should read this article by Joe Linton and Ramon Martinez on the subject from last week.  Basically, a corral takes a automobile parking space, fences it off, and becomes a separated and extended place to park a bicycle.

What’s interesting about this week’s motion is that it actually directs the Department of Plannning and LADOT to get working on a pilot program for bike corrals in Northeast L.A.  It doesn’t direct a study, but action.  With some local business owners chomping at the bit, let’s hope that Bike Corrals don’t become the Sharrows of the next decade.

Wilshire BRT – Warning, this two page update for the City Council is bound to frustrate.  First, why does the city insist on using language such as "traffic impacts" that "cannot be mitigated" when discussing a BRT project?  Of course there’s going to be a traffic impact that cannot be mitigated, there’s going to be less cars using the route and more buses and bikes.  That’s not something you’d want to mitigate.

The second frustration?  This report lays down the groundwork for a construction delay next year.  All of the reports will be done on time for the project to begin construction next spring…but the city’s budget crisis means the Bureau of Street Services will be underfunded.  The new timetable for construction?  Well…we don’t have one yet.

Foothill Boulevard "Safety Improvements" – LADOT and Councilman Alarcon are proposing that the city spend $300k of its Measure R Local Return funds for Phase I of a safety project for Foothill Boulevard that’s been on the books for over a decade.  Phase I pays for a traffic signal and some new lane striping.  Phase II is a widening.  Let’s hope Phase I is enough.  The project itself isn’t that significant from a Livable Streets perspective, but the motion itself gives you an idea of how hard it can be to get the funding for a transportation project in today’s age of restrained budgeting.

  • “[W]hy does the city insist on using language such as ‘traffic impacts’ that ‘cannot be mitigated’ when discussing a BRT project?”
    —–

    This is one of my central beefs with CEQA: it defines a reduction in the ease with which people can drive as a harm that needs to be mitigated, regardless of the potential benefits to more eco-friendly transportation. In that sense, it’s very ironic that the law’s name is the California Environmental Quality Act. That’s a very different sense of the word “environment” and a very different take on “quality”.

    That said, bus-only lanes can be problematic to enforce. They’re certainly not universally respected where they exist in Manhattan, and Wilshire won’t function like the Orange Line.

  • Eric B

    I’d be curious to see what it would look like if Sadik-Khan got her hands on Wilshire Boulevard. We can dream.

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