Metro will host two virtual public hearings in November to review its Draft Environmental Impact Report that calls for the elimination of bike lanes on Colorado Boulevard. Attend these meetings to demand that Metro provide a project in line with the Eagle Rock community’s vision for a safe, healthy, vibrant, and sustainable street.
Following Metro’s decision to re-introduce the previously rejected 134 Freeway alignment as part of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the proposed North Hollywood-Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line, Equitable Eagle Rock calls on the Metro Board of Directors to base its final alignment decisions on the evidence gathered in the DEIR that best meets the project’s goals and best serves Metro riders.
With the return of this “Zombie Option,” Eagle Rock once again remains at risk of being left out of this vital transit link. It is unfortunate that a vocal misinformation campaign waged by opponents was sufficient for the Metro Board to override the evidence gathered in the Alternatives Analysis, but we expect the DEIR will show definitively why the Colorado Boulevard alignment is a more equitable and environmentally superior option. Additional study should finally put this Zombie Option to rest. However, it only has the capacity to do that if the Metro Board of Directors commits to basing their final decisions on the evidence, not on political pressure from a small segment of the population that does not agree with goals for higher quality transit widely supported by Los Angeles voters and the Metro Board.
The benefits of a Colorado Boulevard alignment for the people of Eagle Rock and all who travel along the corridor are clear. A street-running BRT will:
Improve the quality of life for those who rely on public transit, who are often the most marginalized members of our community
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Provide greater access to dependable and quick public transit
Make “downtown” Eagle Rock a more accessible and attractive destination
Create a safer street that benefits all people regardless of their preferred mode of travel
As Metro prepares the DEIR, we expect to see proposed designs that work creatively to meet the needs of our community. With thoughtful design, we believe the implementation of dedicated bus lanes should complement existing neighborhood character and accommodate community-driven enhancements that make Eagle Rock a great place to live, work, shop, study, and play. Equitable Eagle Rock maintains that the following project design elements are essential to the success of BRT:
Incorporating the vision of existing community streetscape projects currently underway such as Take Back The Boulevard and Rock The Boulevard
Preserving and improving existing medians, though likely in modified form with more drought tolerant landscaping
Maintaining and incorporating medians planned west of Eagle Rock Boulevard as part of the Take Back The Boulevard Initiative
Adding protected bike lanes
Replacing any removed trees at an 8:1 ratio for a fully shaded streetscape
Designing a street that provides dignified means of getting around for all regardless of their transportation choices, age, abilities, or socio-economic status
Sharing resources and assistance to protect residents and businesses from displacement
Supporting small businesses, old and new, through construction
Fostering a unique ‘Main Street’ feel
While the Zombie Option is now part of the DEIR, the best way to put it to rest is by advocating the best possible vision for Colorado Boulevard. Metro will hold five interactive community workshops soliciting ideas about how to implement the BRT project; three sessions focused on Colorado Boulevard will be held in Eagle Rock.