Small update on San Fernando Valley bus projects

The Measure R sales tax increase approved by voters in 2008 included three key projects for the San Fernando Valley:

•The Orange Line busway extension from Canoga Park to the Chatsworth Metrolink station, which is under construction and scheduled for completion in 2012.

•A transit project to connect the Westside to the Valley via the Sepulveda Pass. Measure R has more than $1 billion set aside for this project, but studies to define the project have yet to begin.

•A project to speed up bus travel on four north-south streets in the Valley: Reseda Boulevard, Sepulveda Boulevard, Van Nuys Boulevard and Lankershim Blvd./San Fernando Road.

As for the last one, here’s a new report from Metro staff to the Metro Board of Directors about progress so far. The gist of it: there’s one environmental study being done for the Van Nuys Boulevard part of the project and another study now underway for the remaining three streets.

What kind of improvements to expect on that trio of busy streets? Nothing’s nailed down thus far, but made by the city of Los Angeles that will be considered are “traffic signal optimizations, roadway widening at intersections to add right and left turn pockets, bus stop enhancements, bus pads and other improvements.”

The most extensive improvements are targeted at Van Nuys Boulevard, which is one of Metro’s busiest bus corridors in the county in terms of ridership. Among the options being studied there are a busway that would separate buses from traffic in order to give bus riders a zippier commute.

Unfortunately, the project page on the Metro website contains almost no useful information about a key project for the Valley, which has about 1.8 million people. I’ll be letting folks at the agency know the page needs to be updated.


12 replies

  1. @Thomas:

    The Transit Coalition has been studying and advocating an integrated rail transit solution linking the Westside and the San Fernando Valley. With the proposed Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor and San Fernando Valley North-South Transit Corridor projects both funded by Measure R, there is a considerable pot of money to work with. The Transit Coalition has been reaching out to make sure we get one linked rail project instead of two separate and disjointed projects.

    See the plan:



  2. @Donk
    Wait, one billion just for street running? somehow that seems really inflated. If that’s the case, some lucky contractor gets to pocket a huge amount of money and obviously hit the jackpot. (Like that’s never happened before.) Street running down van nuys would be acceptable as long as the line has full signal preemption and a grade separation from the orange line (due to signal conflicts that could arise slowing one line down for the other). Anything less is a missed opportunity. The subway tunnel should start before ventura (with at station of course at ventura/van nuys and be deep bored from there till at least brentwood or westwood if the grade is too steep through the pass. Then freeway running would be acceptable beyond that point since this line would mainly serve as a connector line to expo, purple, Venice blvd, and LAX.

    Regarding the crenshaw line, I think you are underestimating the regional importance that line will have as it effectively connects the east and central part of LA directly to LAX. I do understand that under grounding the portion of crenshaw in question may not be needed so long as the surface segment has properly preempted lights, but its still important to see how it has regional significance. Remember that all these lines combined start to create a backbone transit grid, which is much more suited to LA than the typical spoke and wheel layout like Chicago for example. Also remember that the crenshaw line will eventually run north and connect to Hollywood/highland.