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Streetsblog LA: At Packed Eagle Rock Meeting, Public Comment Split While BRT Foes Harrassed BRT Supporters

At Saturday’s Eagle Rock BRT meeting, Kathleen Aberman called buses “dirty… not safe… and dangerous.” Photo via @topomodesto Twitter

Last Saturday Metro hosted a community input meeting on its planned North Hollywood to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit project. The northeast L.A. City community of Eagle Rock has emerged as ground zero of a conflict between supporters urging “BRT for Equity,” and critics claiming BRT will “devastate” businesses and “severely increase traffic.”

Read Streetsblog L.A.’s report on the July 13th Metro scoping meeting for North Hollywood-Pasadena BRT at Eagle Rock Plaza HERE

Streetsblog LA: NoHo-Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit Project Faces Misleading Eagle Rock NIMBYs

Metro is refining plans for Bus Rapid Transit between Pasadena and North Hollywood – image via Metro report

Metro is planning a new Bus Rapid Transit line from North Hollywood to Pasadena. The project is currently in early design stages, with a series of community input hearings underway this week. Already xenophobic privileged NIMBYs are attacking the project, spreading lies, and belittling transit supporters. The L.A. City neighborhood of Eagle Rock is ground zero for the vitriolic anti-bus campaign.

Read Streetsblog L.A.’s report on misinformation being spread in the conversation about BRT service for Eagle Rock HERE

Subtle Media Bias on BRT

Remember when we wrote about a proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project back in January 2017 and in October 2018? In the June 2019 issue of the Boulevard Sentinel (BS for short), the local Northeast LA newspaper, ran the following headline for an article, “The Battle over Buses on Colorado Boulevard.” The piece is about Metro’s planned “NoHo–Pasadena BRT,” which we previously covered and which proposes to develop a rapid bus line from North Hollywood to Pasadena by way of Burbank, Glendale, and Eagle Rock. The article published in the BS is misleading and one-sided in several ways, seemingly aimed at generating community opposition to the project.

Read how the Walk Eagle Rock blog breaks down the media bias found in local coverage of the BRT issue in the Boulevard Sentinel HERE

L.A. Times: L.A. is hemorrhaging bus riders — worsening traffic and hurting climate goals

Yurithza Esparza’s journey from Boyle Heights to Cal State Northridge involves three buses and a train. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Over the last decade, both Los Angeles County’s sprawling Metro system and smaller lines have hemorrhaged bus riders as passengers have fled for more convenient options — mostly, driving.

Read Laura Nelson’s report on the decline in Metro’s rideship due in large part to a drop in the quality of bus service and how Metro can turn the tide by implementing dedicated bus lanes HERE

L.A. Times Op-Ed: L.A.’s slow buses aren’t just shedding riders, they’re becoming climate liabilities

Buses get stuck in traffic on Wilshire Boulevard even when its peak-hour bus-only lane is in effect. The bus-only lanes get choked with motorists who break the rules.
(Los Angeles Times)

Average bus speeds in the Los Angeles metropolitan area have declined by 13.4% since 1994 to a sluggish 12 mph. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s DASH buses and Santa Monica’s Big Blue bus have been especially hard hit by congestion over that time period, with speeds declining 34% and 28%, respectively.

Read BRT on Colorado supporter and UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies deputy director, Juan Matute’s argument that bus-only lanes are the solution to improve the quality of Metro transit service HERE

Eagle Rock Should Support BRT on Colorado Boulevard

Proposed Bus Rapid Transit Line between North Hollywood and Pasadena. Image via: Metro

Remember the great Colorado Boulevard bike lane debate of 2013? It is now five years later, and people are still divided on whether the reduction in lanes on Colorado Boulevard saved, or ruined, the neighborhood. Empirical data show that the street is safer and more people are out bicycling, but was the loss in traffic lanes worth gaining a safer street? That remains an open question among some Eagle Rockers.

As the bike lane bickering continues on local social media, there is another debate emerging about the future of Colorado Boulevard– should Metro’s proposed North Hollywood to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line run down Colorado? Or should it skip service to Eagle Rock by running along the 134 Freeway? We believe it should go along Colorado Boulevard.

Read the reasons why the Walk Eagle Rock blog believes Eagle Rock will be well served by bus rapid transit HERE

Support Mass Transit For Eagle Rock on January 25th

The iconic yellow car at the intersection of Eagle Rock Boulevard and Colorado Boulevard. Photo via: Metro Library and Archive

How often do we hear residents say, after looking at old photos of the neighborhood, “They really ought to bring back streetcars to Eagle Rock!”

Yes, we do have bus lines, but they tend to be slow and get stuck in traffic caused by too many cars on the road. Unlike the buses of today, the streetcars we fondly look back upon operated in a dedicated right-of-way. In other words, by having their own lanes, the trolleys of yester-year were separated from car traffic and were less likely to get stuck in traffic. So while our yearning for rail stems partially from nostalgia, it also comes from an understanding that public transit works best when it has quality dedicated infrastructure.

Read about the history of mass transit in Eagle Rock and how residents can support bringing quality transit back in the Walk Eagle Rock blog HERE

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