They may not have succeeded in stopping plans for Bus Only Lanes for Wilshire Boulevard, but Brentwood community groups scored a victory earlier this week when the City of Los Angeles scrapped plans to shorten the sidewalk in a two-block stretch to make way for the buses. The change does not impact plans to construct the bus only lanes, currently scheduled to be in place sometime next year. The letter can be read here.
Some residents had threatened legal action if the city moved forward with the sidewalk shortening because it would endanger University High School students that congregate and wait for buses near the 7-Eleven on the south side of Wilshire Boulevard in the area. By removing the planned street widening/sidewalk shortening, the city also removes a remaining obstacle to restriping the bus lanes.
City officials originally planned to shorten the sidewalk for two feet on each side of the street for a two block area between Barrington Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard on Wilshire Boulevard. They argued the shortening was necessary to provide twelve foot travel lanes for the buses. However, a sidewalk shortening was contrary to the Brentwood-Pacific Palisades Community Plan and would require an amendment. The Community Plan actually called for a sidewalk widening, not shortening.
City staff had applied for the amendment but after hearing from residents at a public hearing earlier this month, LADOT submitted plans maintain the sidewalk width and take a couple of inches from each of the mixed-use and bus lanes.