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It May Be Slow, But Transit Projects Still Moving Forward

1:09 PM PST on January 14, 2009


For those of you that missed it, last week Metro announced that it will be suspending its vote on the Long Range Transportation Plan until after issues with the budget mess in Sacramento and stimulus plan from Washington D.C. are resolved.  However, just because discussion of strategic planning is off the table doesn't mean that the planning for new transportation projects is completely stalled.

In a couple of hours, the Metro Board's Planning and Programming Committee will meet to approve planning work on four different transit expansion projects even though the LRTP is on hold for now.

First, the committee will look at the Final Environmental Impact Report on the Canoga Transportation Corridor.  We haven't talked much about this project, but the certification by the Board will be the last aspect of the review and the project will move forward with a construction date of 2013.

Canoga extension will extend the Orange Line  north four miles from its current western busway terminus at Canoga Avenue and Victory Boulevard, to the Chatsworth Metrolink Station. The project includes four new stations that would be located at Sherman Way (site of an approximate 200 space park-and-ride), Roscoe,
Nordhoff, and a new platform at the Chatsworth Metrolink station.

Next, the committee will decide which alternatives of the Subway to the Sea, aka the Metro Westside Extension, will continue to be studied.  The staff recommends continuing to study the feasibility of extending the Purple Line down Wilshire Blvd farther west and an alternative studying both Wilshire and Santa Monica Blvd. extensions together.

The Committee will face a similar task with the Metro's Downtown Regional Connector Plan, approving two options for further study in the environmental review.  At Blogdowntown, Eric Richardson has already detailed the choice that the Planning Committee faces today:

Two build options for the Regional Connector are headed to Metro'sPlanning and Programming committee, a step necessary to approveengineering funds allowing the project to move forward. The reportpresents one alternative that is largely at-grade and one that's mostlyunderground.

While the two options are the same as previous presentations, thedocument paints a more detailed picture of the negative impacts theat-grade approach would have on Downtown's streetscape. Lost trafficlanes and restricted turns would reduce service levels at multipleintersections to the lowest grades, and up to 88 parking spaces wouldbe removed along the route.

Last, but certainly not least, is a look at the four alternatives for the Eastside extension of the Gold Line.  Streetsbloggers already had some debate over which route made the most sense and whether elevating any of the lines made sense.

Regardless of the committee's actions today, all of these proposals need the endorsement of the full board next week.  Streetsblog will check back before then to see if there are any changes to these proposals before they move on.

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