Metro is proposing a route that includes Nordhoff Street and Roscoe Boulevard for the North San Fernando Valley bus rapid transit (BRT) project — see the map above. The 18- to 20-mile project has $180 million in Measure M funding and is being designed to speed up bus service, offer more transit-accessible destinations and make transit a more viable option for everyone.
A new round of community meetings has been scheduled in August so the public can provide more feedback on the project. Meeting locations, dates and times are at the bottom of this post. We also have a new video:
For those new to transit jargon, ‘bus rapid transit’ is a bus service that provides faster, more frequent service via several potential strategies, including dedicated bus lanes, signal priority, more expansive and comfortable stations, new vehicles, convenient fare collection and/or all-door boarding. Metro’s Orange Line and Silver Line are examples of BRT.
More study is needed to determine which of the above strategies will be used for this project. But the idea in a nutshell is to create a premium bus line that connects to key job and activity centers as well as existing and future bus and rail lines.
The Metro Board of Directors in September will consider advancing the staff recommendation for the project to the next step in the planning process — environmental review. The meeting, as usual, will be live-streamed on our website and will be available to watch later.
We’ve received many questions and comments about the project and wanted to provide some more history and background on the planning process thus far:
•Three project options were presented to the community beginning in September 2018. After public input, those three options were expanded to seven potential routes.
•Earlier this summer, Metro published the project’s Alternatives Analysis Report, which looked at those routes. Staff recommended the route shown above because it showed the highest potential ridership (27,000 to 29,000 boardings per weekday) and was deemed as the route with the most rider benefits.
•Proposed stations are identified with a dot on the project map. Stations are about a mile apart although a little closer in areas with more activity centers and farther apart in areas with less anticipated demand. As planning work continues, station locations will be updated.
•The solid lines on the map are where staff recommends focusing study on one specific street for the planned BRT line. The two longest solid lines are on 6.2 miles on Nordhoff between DeSoto and Haskell (6.2 miles), which has more destinations, and three miles on Roscoe between Van Nuys and Laurel Canyon. Roscoe has stronger land uses in Panorama City — for example the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center.
•The project also has some design variations in places where we need to do more work to figure out how to deal with a variety of issues. These include getting the route under the 405 freeway and whether the route would work better on Laurel Canyon or Lankershim boulevards and if part of the route can share a portion of the Metro Orange Line busway.
•After hearing more public comment in June, the Metro Board decided to postpone choosing any routes for more study as part of the project’s environmental review until those who represent the area could be in attendance. Given the extra time provided, Metro is holding more public meetings and conducting additional outreach to reach those who cannot attend traditional meetings.
•The bottom line is we want to know what you think of the routes, potential station locations, things you think we should be considering or anything else! Is the staff recommended route the one that will be ultimately built? Bottom line: we don’t know. The environmental study will help determine that with the Board ultimately selecting a route.
•We’ve received questions and comments involving traffic impacts, bus lanes and density. Below are a few things to know.
•The streets being considered are already wide arterial streets that Metro believes has the space and capacity to accommodate bus rapid transit service.
•Metro can’t unilaterally install bus lanes. The streets under study are overseen by the city of Los Angeles. That means that Metro has to work with the city, residents, businesses and other stakeholders to make a bus lane happen and to mitigate any significant impacts.
•Metro is not proposing the project to increase density along the route. Zoning is not controlled by Metro — it’s done by cities. In the case of this project, that’s the city of Los Angeles. The purpose of the project is simply to provide a much better transit option than what currently exists in the northern Valley.
There has been a proposed state bill the last two years that would allow for zoning changes near frequent bus stops. That bill died in the Legislature due to lack of support in 2018 and was shelved earlier this year in a State Senate committee. Metro has not taken a position on this bill.
The upcoming meetings are listed below. The meetings will be a chance to talk to Metro staff and give staff an opportunity to learn about your thoughts on this project and your views on mobility and transit. Meetings will include a Kid’s Corner with family-friendly activities as well as food and beverages.
Thursday, August 8, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Laurel Hall School, cafeteria
North Hollywood, CA 91606
Saturday, August 10, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
(Staff will stay through late afternoon through the Plaza’s Back to School event)
Plaza Del Valle Community Room
Panorama City, CA 91402
Monday, August 12, 6 to 8 p.m.
California State University Northridge (CSUN), Orange Grove Bistro
Northridge, CA 91325
(Validated parking is available)
All Metro meetings are held in ADA accessible facilities and are accessible by transit. Spanish translation will be provided at each meeting and the Panorama City will be Spanish oriented. ADA accommodations and other translations are available by calling 323.466.3876 or California Relay Service at 711 at least 72 hours in advance.
For additional project information or to provide feedback, visit the North San Fernando Valley BRT Project website at https://www.metro.net/projects/north-sfv-brt/.