A First/Last Mile (FLM) Plan for the East San Fernando Valley Light Rail Transit project will be considered by the Metro Board of Directors at their December meeting. The project will build an 8.5-mile light rail line with 14 stations between Van Nuys and the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station.
The final draft of the Plan is available here.
The First/Last Mile Plan looks at a series of improvements that will make it easier to access rail stations from nearby neighborhoods by foot or bike/wheel. The bigger context here: about 80 percent of our riders walk or bike/roll to stations and many other people say they want to take transit but getting to and from stations without a car is time consuming and unpleasant. Metro has been developing First/Last Mile plans for different transit projects to remedy that problem.
The expected Board action will accompany the completion of Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for the rail project. While Metro has completed five previous FLM plans, this is the first time that FLM planning has been built into the planning process for a rail project. As with prior FLM Plans, Metro partnered with community–based organizations (Pacoima Beautiful and Safe Moves) to engage the public and gather ideas for the plan. Public involvement included four workshops hosted by the CBO partners, school-based “coffee with the principal” conversations, a written survey distributed at community events and meetings and “walk audits” of the future stations in which Metro staff were joined by community members to survey current conditions around the stations.
FLM planning focuses on projects that make it safer, more pleasant and more comfortable to walk, bike and roll to and from transit stations. The plan proposes a slate of improvements for each station, including sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes. Among the things we heard most consistently from the public was a need for street trees to provide shade and heat reduction during the day, lighting to provide a safe and pleasant environment at night and bus stop improvements to improve the transfer experience.
The FLM identified a total of 238 pedestrian projects and 96 bike/wheel projects – that averages 17 pedestrian and seven wheel projects per station. We don’t currently have the funding for many of these projects – but the first step to applying for funding from the state and federal government is to have a plan. That will allow us to pursue funding and build these projects over time. The FLM gives cities (Los Angeles and San Fernando for this project) and CBOs a document to refer to as they consider how to go forward. Of note, as improvements move forward from this planning phase, there will be additional opportunities for the public to be involved. Please have a look at the Plan from the link above, and let us know what you think in the comments.
Below are a few other pages from the plan: