Groundbreaking for the remainder of the Wilshire Boulevard peak hour bus lanes held this morning

Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LeBonge, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Deputy CEO Paul Taylor, Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commissioner Matt Szabo, Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering Interim City Engineer Doborah Weintraub and Los Angeles Department of Transportation General Manager Jon Kirk Mukri at the groundbreaking for Wilshire BRT lanes. Photo: Paul Gonzalez/Metro

Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LeBonge, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Deputy CEO Paul Taylor, Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commissioner Matt Szabo, Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering Interim City Engineer Doborah Weintraub and Los Angeles Department of Transportation General Manager Jon Kirk Mukri at the groundbreaking for Wilshire BRT lanes. Photo: Paul Gonzales/Metro

Although the project was approved by Metro and the Los Angeles City Council in spring of 2011, ground was broken Wednesday on the remainder of the Wilshire Boulevard Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lanes. The first 1.8 miles of bus only lanes opened last June between South Park View and Western Avenue; the city of L.A. has been working on design and such since ’11.

The Wilshire Boulevard BRT is a $31.5-million project that will ultimately add 7.7 miles of peak hour bus lanes to the portions of Wilshire Boulevard between Valencia Street (west of downtown Los Angeles) to Centinela Avenue in Santa Monica. By early 2015, there will be 9.9 miles of street, signal and signage improvements along with 7.7 miles of the bus lanes.

Only transit buses will be allowed in the lanes between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., with exceptions in some places for vehicles making right-hand turns. 

Metro operates buses every two minutes on Wilshire Boulevard west of downtown during peak hours. There are 53,000 daily boardings with 44 percent of them occurring during rush hours. On average, peak hours bus commutes from Valencia Street to Centinela Avenue are 52 minutes in the morning and 64 minutes in the afternoon. The BRT lanes will hopefully reduce commute times by 24 percent.

One thing to consider: the Purple Line Extension will one day mostly follow Wilshire Boulevard to Westwood. At that point, the subway becomes a much better and faster choice for any kind of long-distance travel on Wilshire. Buses would help fill the gaps between the subway stations and serve also as first-mile/last-mile options for riders trying to reach rail stations.

Here’s the project map that shows the improvements that have been and will be made:

wbrt-with-text-bubbles_2013-02-08-1

13 thoughts on “Groundbreaking for the remainder of the Wilshire Boulevard peak hour bus lanes held this morning

  1. @Erik Griswold: Santa Monica’s Negriff was the first government bureaucrat to proclaim the desire for a bus lane as BRT. Unfortunately, with blue-state governance, only intent matters, not competence or performance. How else do we celebrate 9 mph cross-town speeds, and trains that run at 15mph?

    @Ivan: So sorry, but just as WeHo can make up their own rules for public policy, so too can BH.

    and lastly

    @Chris Loos: Please cease with the punitive attitude. We’ve spent the last five years debunking and removing the red-light camera revenue movement – and now, indictments for bribery and public corruption are pending.

    The public and the courts are pretty much in agreement that a moving violation requires notice, i.e. written in-person by a police officer. If bus-lane incursions are a real problem, then LASD can address it. I suspect that bicycle traffic will be a much bigger problem than cars.

    Cars are not evil – they are the only choice for the majority of Angelenos, until such time as LA City public policy is radically changed to make mass transit, housing and schools, safe, clean and reliable.

    • So cars that are illegally using the bus lanes during rush hour should be let off the hook, and to think otherwise constitutes having a “punitive attitude”. Got it.

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