Off the Agenda: Metro Board Not Talking Bikes or Rail Acceleration This Week

7_20_09_trains.jpg7_20_09_bike_on_train.jpgPhotos: Streetsblog, Sallam Allah/Flickr

Last week, two proposals by Metro staff dominated a lot of the Livable Streets discussion in Los Angeles.

The first was what seemed to be a proposal to accelerate three rail projects funded by Measure R, the Downtown Connector, Gold Line Eastside Extension 2, and Green Line to LAX.  The proposal garnered a lot of interest on the blogs after I Will Ride first noticed the proposal on a committee agenda and began asking how they could get their favored project, the Gold Line Foothill Extension, moved up as well.

It turns out the report in question had nothing to do with picking projects to accelerate, but instead was about illustrating what any sort of acceleration schedule would mean to Metro’s finances.  As we noted here last week, the "proposed" acceleration didn’t really make fiscal sense for an agency that is already projecting lower-than-expected revenue from Measure R.  While the Metro Board is scheduled to "receive" this report at Thursday’s Board Meeting, there is no serious talk about accelerating any of the time lines for any rail project at this point in time.

Also up for debate were the proposed revisions to Metro’s "bikes on trains" policy.  Two weeks ago, cyclists were happy to hear that Metro was planning to revise its policy towards bikes to remove any rush-hour restrictions on bicycles.  However, when cyclists were invited to a meeting with Metro staff to discuss the proposal, they ended up hearing about a plan to restrict bicycles to a "two-per-car" limit even in cars where there’s a lot more space available.

After an outpouring of negative feedback, and a strong turnout by cyclists at the Metro Operations Committee, the proposal has been shelved for, at least, this month’s Board Meeting.  Instead of Metro staff’s original plan, Stephen Box reports that a new motion to "direct staff to investigate further and to involve the cycling community" took its place.


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