Eyes on the Street: Wilshire’s Car-Only Bus Lane

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From Twitter user Will Clark comes this tweet, noting the shockingly lax enforcement of the Wilshire bus-only lane by the City of Los Angeles. Clark notes,

I really don’t understand the point of dedicated bus lanes when they look like [this] on Wilshire in Westwood headed to the 405. Like, in 10 min the 720 across the street made it thru 1 light.

Clark is, of course, completely correct. There is little point in bus-only lanes existing without enforcement. Given the added importance of Wilshire, as host to one of the busiest transit lines in the country, the crowded bus-only lane is more than an inconvenience. It’s an embarrassment.

Sadly, this is not a weird fluke or one-time problem. Drivers have consistently hogged the lanes since they first launched a few years ago. Late last month, in a story on Metro’s strategic plan, Streetsblog editor Joe Linton called enforcement “pathetic.”

The good news is that Metro has enforcement as a high priority in its strategic plan. The bad news is that it has already taken far too long for the plan to move off paper and onto the street.

  • @BPS

    On a heavily travelled street such as Wilshire, bus only lanes are not a good idea. Hence the reason drivers disregard the “law”. Traffic on Wilshire, especially from Beverly Hills border in Westwood to Santa Monica (City) is gridlock nearly 24/7. Another option needs to be found.

  • @disqus_J8KrrfI5LB:disqus, which is why the Purple Line extension somehow, miraculously has to be completed before 2026 to Wilshire/VA and somehow find a public-private partnership or publicly finance a subway or monorail from the SFV to the Westside to Santa Monica ASAP within the next decade (connecting to the future subway to the sea) to provide the millions of people working in the Westside today and in the future a reliable, high-frequency alternative to the gridlock of Westside traffic and connect with the rest of the county and Southland.

  • @BPS

    Yep. The subway cannot come quick enough. From La Cienega to the Westwood station is going to be one of the heaviest used lines in LA. Maybe the country.

  • Paul Wright

    I like the bus lane. It’s reasonable where it’s only during rush hour. Cars get in the way and make traffic worse during these times. They are awful. Leave it alone. People in cars think they have the answer to LA’s traffic problem, but honestly they don’t. Continue improving mass transit.

  • Justin Runia

    yes, if only there was another option, one with specific right of way already painted on the road…

    …I’m sure we’ll think of something, some day

  • com63

    They should heavily enforce the lane to keep it clear, then add digital signs that tell drivers how much time the bus riders are saving:
    Beverly Hills to 405 – 30min car, 10min bus

  • D G Spencer Ludgate

    I cannot tell by the picture, are the motorists legitimate or scofflaws?

    Legitimate = Queued up for right turns.
    Scofflaws = Using the bus lane to proceed straight.

  • com63

    If right turns disrupt the lane so much, they should ban right turns at the problem intersections.

  • Everyusernametaken

    People are such assholes. Why not impose a $500 fine for driving in it?

  • 1 Less Car

    Streets are for (in this order), People, people on bikes, people in buses, people in cars.

    The solution is in front of your nose. Wilshire.

  • 1 Less Car

    The people of LA aren’t using the subway today in significant numbers.

  • @BPS

    Depends on the line. Build where the people want to go – Expo Line – and ridership is beating expectations. But, lower ridership isn’t just happening in LA. Transit ridership is down I’m many cities. That’s what happens with a good economy. But lower ridership is no reason not to continue building.



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