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San Fernando Valley Bus/Bike Updates: G Line, Roscoe Bus Lanes, Laurel Canyon Bike Lanes

Short newly protected bike lane on Laurel Canyon Blvd, extensive NSFV bus improvements under construction this month, and scaled-back G Line plans should get that project under construction this summer

2019 Metro conceptual rendering of G Line busway crossing gates

Do you ride a bus or bike in the San Fernando Valley? Below are three recent updates on Valley projects.

Metro G Line Improvements Scope Scaled Back, Construction Soon

Metro watcher @numble recently tweeted modified Metro plans for G (Orange) Line busway/bikeway improvements. The changes are detailed in a project scope amendment report scheduled to be decided by the California Transportation Commission later this month.

In brief, Metro had extensive plans to add a mile-plus-long grade separation bridge, rail-type gate arms, various station and bikeway upgrades, and more. Then construction costs came in over budget, leading to a couple rounds of trimming that saw hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of project scope cut.

Thirty-five crossing gate intersections (all along the line) were reduced to 14 (just in the East Valley). A proposed extended elevated structure (housing both Sepulveda and Van Nuys Stations) will be two short structures. Planned bike/walk path improvements (that had always been secondary to transit upgrades) were scaled back.

Metro's revised G Line improvements map. Gated intersections (aqua) will only be from Van Nuys to North Hollywood. Grade separation bridge structures will be located at Van Nuys and Sepulveda Stations. Map via Metro project page
Metro chart comparing initial G Line scope and later revisions.

The silver lining is that, pending the CTC vote, Metro can get these delayed G Line improvements built; construction is now expected to start in Summer 2024. The dust should be all settled in advance of the 2028 Olympics, which will include Sepulveda Basin events served by the G Line.

G Line riders will benefit from faster bus speeds through the East Valley. Valley drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians will also see modest improvements.

Speaking of construction, last week Metro outreach staff were stationed on the G Line path, letting cyclists know the path will be closed for three years. Metro plans a signed bike detour on surface streets north of the path.

Metro handout showing the G Line construction path bike detour
Metro North San Fernando Valley Transit Construction Gets Underway This Month

According to a recent service council presentation, Metro San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor Project construction will start this month.

The scaled-back and delayed Measure M project includes numerous components designed to benefit Valley bus riders, including:

  • Peak-hour bus-only lanes on Roscoe Boulevard - with up to 82 bus bulbs to improve speed and reliability by keeping buses in the lane of traffic. Roscoe bus lanes are anticipated to open "by Fall 2024" per Metro spokesperson Patrick Chandler.
  • Increased weekday bus service (every ten minutes) on Roscoe and Nordhoff Street/Osborne Street lines (152 and 166 respectively). Per Chandler, service increases will be part of Metro’s June 23, 2024 service changes.
  • New bus shelters installed at nearly 400 Valley locations
  • Five enhanced bus transfer locations (CSU Northridge, Nordhoff/Lindley Avenue, Nordhoff/Van Nuys Boulevard, Roscoe/Reseda Boulevard, and Roscoe/Van Nuys) with more features: larger shelters, more seating, better lighting, etc.
Metro North San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor project includes bus lanes on Roscoe
  • 75 new battery electric zero-emission buses to fully electrify four Valley bus lines, and implement all-door boarding
  • Transit signal priority on seven corridors (Roscoe, Lankershim Boulevard, Sherman Way, Victory Boulevard, Vanowen Street, Nordhoff, and Reseda)

None of the NSFV project components are huge or radical, but hundreds of small and medium upgrades will add up to significant overall improvements for Valley bus riders. For more details, see the Metro project page.

Short Newly Protected Stretch on Laurel Canyon Boulevard Bikeway

Late last year, the L.A. City Transportation Department (LADOT) upgraded a short stretch of existing unprotected bike lane southbound on Laurel Canyon Boulevard in North Hollywood.

Recently added plastic bollard protection on Laurel Canyon Boulevard

The newly plastic bollard protected stretch is about 400 feet long, located along the drop-off lane for Roy Romer Middle School.

New northbound unprotected bike lane on Laurel Canyon

Bikeway upgrades there were done in conjunction with street repaving. In addition to the newly protected stretch, LADOT added two blocks (about a quarter mile) of new northbound unprotected bike lane on Laurel Canyon between Victory Boulevard and Kittridge Street. Repaving below Victory (to Erwin Street) re-installed Laurel Canyon's existing sharrows.

SBLA first learned of the modest Laurel Canyon upgrades via LADOT's recently released calendar year 2023 Annual Report.

This post was updated on May 7 with additional NSFV Transit project timeline information provided by Metro.

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