Status of Wilshire Repaving

Sometimes it is hard to keep up with the whirl of local activities and events relating to transit. For example the meeting L.A. City Council member Tom LaBonge held July 18th on the future of Wilshire totally escaped my attention.

Thankfully Aaron Blevins of the Park LaBrea News/Beverly Press community newspaper attended and the title of his article summarizing the meeting gives the key news announced at it: “Wilshire Bl. to be repaved sooner than expected”.

As I noted in a previous post, the reconstruction of curb lanes as part of the Wilshire bus lane project is due to start next year with a target completion date of November 2014.

But due to the horrible condition of the mid-section of Wilshire a separate construction program to repave the curb lanes will be commencing in August. The $800,000 project (using dedicated local transportation sales tax subventions) will cover the stretch between Wilton Place and Fairfax. Keith Mozee, of the city of Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services is quoted in the piece as stating the project (to be done in segments) will take three to six weeks with work happening mostly weekends and mid-day during weekdays.

Those of us who have for years endured bouncing on Metro’s local Wilshire bus (Line 20) which often hugs the curb lane will be glad to endure the delays and disruptions of the repaving as the price of being able when it is finished to have a comfortable ride. Hallelujah!

In other Bus Rapid Transit news, a recently released Government Accountability Office review of domestic BRT projects found “13 of the 15 project sponsors that provided ridership data reported increases in ridership after 1 year of service and reduced average travel times of 10 to 35 percent over previous bus services”. This includes several local Rapid lines. Which augur well for the success of the Wilshire lanes when they open in late 2014.

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