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.