Category: Media (Page 1 of 2)

Streetsblog LA Fact Check: Will BRT Automatically Trigger Corridor Up-Zoning? Not Anywhere Near as Much as Opponents Say It Will

Jay Beeber rendering of six-story “giant apartment buildings to be built along Nordhoff towering over our single family homes”

If one believes the claims of Bus Rapid Transit opponents, BRT has a tremendous power to “automatically” up-zone entire corridors and bring massive new “six-story” canyons of towering development to L.A. neighborhoods. Their rhetoric is, of course, overblown. The truth is that current “automatic up-zoning” is very limited and very targeted.

The primary program under fire here is the city of Los Angeles’ Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) Affordable Housing Incentive Program. (Technically, TOC incentives are discretionary bonuses – semantically not what planners would term an up-zone – but for this article SBLA will go with the vernacular and call these bonuses an up-zone.) TOC was approved by a majority of city voters in 2016. The program has been effective in greenlighting 4,000 new homes. TOC is now receiving criticism from various homeowner interests, and is the subject of a questionable Fix the City lawsuit that seeks to halt the program.

Read Streetsblog LA’s detailed explanation of how BRT has limited-to-no impact on the density and height of buildings along BRT routes HERE

Metro CEO Phil Washington: Metro’s North Hollywood-Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit Project Will Better Connect Communities

The North Hollywood to Pasadena corridor connects the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys and is home to approximately 800,000 people and 400,000 jobs. This area includes major job centers, bedroom communities and many colleges and cultural opportunities.

But there’s one big thing lacking: a great transit connection for those traveling between the Valleys. Metro has exactly one bus line traveling between Old Pasadena and North Hollywood, but it mostly sticks to the 134 freeway and misses many neighborhoods and destinations along the way.

This is why Metro is working to build a bus rapid transit (BRT) line to serve North Hollywood, Burbank, Glendale, Eagle Rock and Pasadena. BRT is a type of bus line that is faster, more frequent and more reliable by using features that could include traffic signal prioritization, all-door boarding, upgraded bus stations and dedicated bus lanes.

Read Metro CEO Phil Washington’s op-ed at Pasadena News Now making the case for communities and job centers connected by quality transit HERE

Streetsblog LA: Civility Breaks Out at Metro Eagle Rock BRT Meeting

Small group discussion at Metro’s Eagle Rock BRT open house. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Last night Metro hosted an open house meeting on the planned North Hollywood to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit project. The meeting took place at Samuelson Pavilion on the campus of Occidental College in Eagle Rock. Last night’s meeting was pretty civil.

Read Streetsblog L.A.’s report on the August 7th Metro scoping meeting for North Hollywood-Pasadena BRT at Eagle Rock Plaza HERE

Should Metro get rid of a car lane to make way for a dedicated bus lane?

A dedicated bus lane in Boston.
Photo credit: Aimee Custis (CC BY 2.0)

KCRW’s Greater L.A. program looks at Metro’s plan to provide bus rapid transit service to connect the communities of North Hollywood, Burbank, Glendale, Eagle Rock, and Pasadena with quality transit.

Listen to KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis’ conversation with Curbed’s Alissa Walker about the value of keeping buses moving with dedicated lanes HERE

AirTalk: Proposed Bus Rapid Transit Line From North Hollywood To Pasadena Has Divided Eagle Rock Residents

A Los Angeles Metro bus LA METRO

KPCC’s Larry Mantle hosts LAist staff writer Ryan Fonesca and Scott Hartwell, Metro project manager for the North Hollywood to Pasadena Transit corridor, in a discussion about the plans for BRT along Colorado. Mantle gets some of his facts wrong about the level of community support vs opposition as well as about zoning. But, fortunately the guests and some of the call-ins help set the record straight.

Listen to the segment that aired on AirTalk on July 17 HERE.

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

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