The Federal Transit Administration on Thursday gave approval to Metro to remove a nearly one-mile stretch of Wilshire Boulevard from the Wilshire bus lane project without jeopardizing a federal grant for the project.
The decision whether to keep a bus lane on that part of Wilshire — between Comstock and Selby avenues in Westwood — will be up to the Metro Board of Directors. They are scheduled to take up the issue at their Dec. 9 meeting when the Board also must approve the project’s final environmental impact report.
Most of the 8.7 miles of rush hour bus lanes on Wilshire will be in the parking lane. But in this stretch of Wilshire, Metro staff recommended keeping the parking lane and the curbside jut-outs that have trees and grass. As a result, the bus lane was to go in the righthand general traffic lane — of which there are three in both directions in this part of Wilshire.
Residents complained that would make it difficult to exit and enter driveways to their buildings and could also pose a safety problem while backing up traffic on Wilshire. The Board of Directors’ planning committee agreed and asked Metro staff if eliminating the bus lane in this stretch of Wilshire would threaten a $23-million grant for the project from the FTA, which is about three-fourths of the bus lanes’ $31.5-million cost.
Here’s the letter that Metro sent to the FTA.