Blogs Are Buzzing on Metro’s Long Range Plan

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Metro is working hard to promote public participation in the Draft Long Range Transportation Plan launching a new media campaign, and devoting tomorrow’s "Online Chat With Board Chair Pam O’Connor" to planning. So far, feedback, both positive and negative, is occuring daily on blogs and message boards around the Internet.  While Metro may be looking to take the discussion from the web to the mainstream, the debate between Metro’s fans and detractors online can yield questions and comments worth considering.

Curbed L.A. and LAist were two of the first to review the Long Range Plan, and each took a very different position. In addition to listing the Tier 1 and Tier 2 unfunded projects, Curbed promoted the meat of the plan, calling it "juicy." Curbed had a spirited debate in their comment section that is worth reading, even if some of the names might look familiar. If you don’t have time to read all of the comments, make sure to check out the ones by Scott Mercer and Pete McFerrin.

LAist was slightly more critical. In a post entitled "Metro’s Plan: It’s Realistic, But Not Visionary," Zach Behrens writes:

As you can see, the public’s support of both a subway down Wilshire and down Santa Monica Blvd. did not even make the unfunded part. It’s as if the decision has already been made to solely run it down Wilshire. Nor does the map indicate even a bus lane or expanded service over the Sepulveda Pass on the 405 freeway. However, it does appear that the Red Line has plans to march north beyond the NoHo Arts District and the Valley will get a few more north-south Orange Line extensions. Of course, this plan is very broad and details and questions can be asked during a series of meetings that begin at the end of his month.

The Times’ blog writers have also been busy writing about the plan. Steve Hymon, who is also the Times’ beat writer for transportation, wrote a quick summary for the Bottleneck Blog and wondered from where the funding for these projects would come. The Bottleneck Blog would later gape at the amount of traffic growth projected for LA County in the plan. Despite Metro’s dual role as highway and transit planner, most of the comments on all blogs have been directed at the transit planning, even on the car-oriented Bottleneck Blog.

But it was the Emerald City blog which looked at the environmental impacts of the plan, which garnered the most attention at the Times’ blog section.  If you don’t have time to check out all of the posts in the comments section, make sure to read the ones by Dan W.

Metro Rider’s prolific Fred Camino has yet to weigh in on the document on the flagship blog for the transit oriented lifestyle, but comments suggest that Metro Rider may be looking to develop its own set of comments on the plan. Discussion at Metro Rider has been broken into two different threads before Metro Rider opened a new forum where most of the comments can now be found.

The Transit Coalition Forums are also actively discussing both the funding of the Long Range Plan and the some of the plan’s proposals. As a matter of fact, they’ve been discussing it for over a month before the plan was officially released.

As we get closer to the public hearings, expect discussion on the plan to increase. In the meantime here are the most common questions and comments that have been raised. Maybe Pam O’Connor can give us some answers tomorrow.

  1. Does Metro have a strategy to raise funds for the Tier 1 and Tier 2 unfunded projects? If so, what is it?
  2. Why is Metro discounting light or heavy rail for West Hollywood along Santa Monica Boulevard?
  3. Why isn’t Metro doing more to plan transit for the valley area, especially in Sylmar where residents are crying out for alleviation from sprawl?
  4. Can Metro better explain how it chooses between rail and light rail along different corridors?
  5. Why isn’t Metro considering a rail line for the 405 where it’s currently planning for a bus-only lane?

Photo: Deniz Durmus/Metro

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