The Metro Board is meeting Thursday at 9:30 a.m. The agenda is above and you can listen/watch online. Among the items to be tackled by the Board:
•As part of the Orange Line Improvements Project, the Board will consider:
–Building up to 35 railroad-style crossing gates at intersections along the busway.
–Constructing two aerial stations for the Orange Line over Sepulveda and Van Nuys boulevards, along with bridges for the Orange Line bike path.
–Determining that the project is statutorily exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act, which will help the project remain on schedule. These kind of exemptions are permitted for improvements to certain types of existing transportation projects that have already been built (such as the Orange Line busway) and are in operation.
Gates would be similar to those used on the Gold, Blue and Expo lines and will be installed on all sides of the intersection to reduce or eliminate potential auto versus bus intrusions or collisions. Crossing gates will also enable buses to safely increase their intersection operating speeds from approximately 10 to 15 miles per hour to 25 to 35 miles per hour.
Van Nuys and Sepulveda boulevards are qw the two busiest Valley streets along the busway corridor. Stand-alone bridges will physically separate buses from automobile and pedestrian traffic below. New aerial stations would be built on the bridges, as well as an elevated Class I bicycle path.
All improvements are expected to cut travel times by approximately 20 percent between North Hollywood and Chatsworth. Metro staff will work closely with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to ensure crossing gates operate as efficiently as possible. Metro will explore operating buses less frequently but with two-vehicle platoons to increase passenger capacity while minimizing the frequency of gate activation and delays to cross traffic.
The plan is to break ground on the project in 2019 and have it completed by 2025. The project has $286 million from Measure M and another $75 million from Senate Bill 1, the gas tax and vehicle fees that went into effect in late 2017. Here’s the staff report.
•Expand the paid parking program to eight more Metro Rail stations with fees beginning in the fall. Staff report.
•As part of its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower its fuel costs, the Board will consider a $54.8-million contract to expand Metro’s use of biomethane fuel on its bus fleet. Biomethane typically comes from dairy farms, wastewater treatment plants or landfills whereas natural gas has to be extracted from the ground via drilling. Staff report.
•As part of the Gold Line extension to Claremont and Montclair project, the Board will consider approving an “Amended Shared Use Agreement” with BNSF railroad to share the rail right-of-way between Glendora and Montclair. As part of the Gold Line project, the existing BNSF freight tracks will be moved within the right-of-way to accommodate the new light rail tracks. The same agreement and moving of the rail tracks took place on the Gold Line extension to Azusa. The light rail project held a groundbreaking ceremony in December and utility relocation work is underway with a target project completion date of 2027. Staff report.
Categories: Transportation News