A little more info on the Sepulveda Pass Corridor project

The aerial view of the Sepulveda Pass corridor from Google Maps.

The part of the Metro website devoted to projects was recently updated with a little more information about a project that I know is near and dear the hearts of many Source readers: The Sepulveda Pass Corridor, which proposes to improve transit between the Westside and the San Fernando Valley via the Sepulveda Pass Corridor.

From the project home page:

The Sepulveda Pass Corridor is a vital project for the Sepulveda Pass that connects the San Fernando Valley with West Los Angeles. Potential project alternatives could include light rail, bus rapid transit service on the I-405 carpool lanes with bus-only on and off ramps, peak-hour bus rapid transit-only shoulder lanes, or a transit/toll facility. All elevations (aerial, tunnel, etc.) and parallel routes, such as Sepulveda and Van Nuys Boulevards, will be explored.

Metro Planning, using its on-call technical consultant benches (planning, modeling, environmental, civil engineering, etc), will conduct an in-house technical feasibility study of various alternatives for the Sepulveda Pass Corridor, as a necessary condition to move forward with any project in the corridor. Obviously, a project embracing the initial concept of a multimodal transit and express toll road will be one of the concepts examined by staff. It is clear to all that under current financial conditions, no major project in the corridor can be built without consideration of a public-private partnership. Once a set of potential alternatives is identified, the Metro Board may then decide to undertake an analysis of the economics and feasibility of a P3 approach. This consideration by the Metro Board is likely to take place in mid-2012. Stay tuned.

A few other points worth considering after the jump…

•Measure R provides $1 billion in funding for a project. As the above says, a major project will likely need more money — especially because the current Measure R timeline has this project being completed in the late 2030s, when whatever gets built will likely cost more than if built now.

•I think this project is yet another fine example why Congress needs to pass the full America Fast Forward legislation that Metro is seeking to accelerate the construction of Measure R projects. At this point, parts of America Fast Forward have been embraced. The whole enchilada is needed.

•And this project, I believe, demonstrates the importance of the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project that is adding a carpool lane to the northbound 405 between the 10 and 101 freeways. Critics of the project have said the carpool lane won’t do much to help traffic on the 405. But carpool lanes in the future can be managed quite differently than now and could greatly help transit get across the Sepulveda Pass. I also think some of the ramp improvements being done will benefit all traffic in the area, including bus traffic.

•Planning for this project has yet to begin, but when it does there are some ginormous questions to be answered. How will the project connect with the Westside Subway Extension, which will have a station at VA next to the 405? Or the Expo Line, which will have a station at Pico and Sepulveda, near the 405? And how will it connect with the future Van Nuys Rapidway project to improve transit service on Van Nuys Boulevard? And how will it connect with the Orange Line?

Your thoughts? Comment please!