Bus-Only Lanes: Seattle Activism, L.A. City Motion

Downtown L.A.'s new Flower Street bus-only lane. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
Downtown L.A.'s new Flower Street bus-only lane. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

For readers’ Friday enjoyment here are a couple of tidbits on bus-only lanes.

Seattle Activists Shoo Drivers Out of Bus-Only Lane

There is a new urban hero out of Seattle. A woman shooed scofflaw drivers out of a Seattle bus-only lane. Her action went viral – including plenty of hate from drivers. Then Seattle residents took to the streets similarly to keep drivers out of bus lanes.

Read more at The Stranger, Seattle Times, and Seattle Transit Blog.

Will these actions spread to other cities where scofflaw drivers bog down bus lanes?

Bonin/Krekorian Motion for Improving Bus Speeds

Next Wednesday the L.A. City Council Transportation Committee will hear a motion that would help the city move forward with near-term improvements to speed up buses. The motion is by City Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Paul Krerkorian. The preamble mentions various plans – from Metro’s NextGen Bus Study to the city’s Mobility Plan 2035 – and how car traffic congestion is impeding transit operations, particularly “in Downtown Los Angeles and nearby neighborhoods.”

If approved, the motion would direct the city’s Transportation Department (LADOT) “to report back with a list of priority bus-supportive infrastructure projects needed to support the NextGen bus service plan, with an emphasis on near-term improvements that can be implemented concurrently with each phase of NextGen.” According to one of Metro’s timelines, NextGen service changes would be phased in starting April 2020, and finishing early 2021.

The motion would also direct LADOT to be part of the joint Metro-LADOT Bus Speed Engineering Working Group, as was approved at the July Metro board meeting.

Perhaps LADOT parking enforcement and LAPD could be part of this, too?

Metro reports that LAPD enforcement has been key to making the new Flower Street bus lane work well.


Orange Line BRT Speed Improvements Caught In Inter-Agency Delays

I was hoping to write a couple of happy stories this week about the Metro Orange Line. The San Fernando Valley’s highly-regarded workhorse Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) opened in 2005. Lately, a new pedestrian tunnel and faster bus speeds seemed imminent. These facilities would save time for the Orange Line’s 30,000 daily riders. Earlier this week, I […]

Law-Breaking Drivers Disrespecting New Wilshire Boulevard Bus-Only Lanes

On April 8, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and other Metro, federal, county, and city leaders cut the ceremonial ribbon opening the second phase of the $31.5 million Wilshire BRT (Bus Rapid Transit). Metro forecasted that the Wilshire Boulevard peak-hour bus-only lanes will significantly improve commute times for the more than 25,000 people who board Wilshire Boulevard buses at peak […]