By T. A. Hendrickson
Metro has delayed the release of the draft Environmental Impact Report on its proposed North Hollywood-to-Pasadena bus rapid transit (BRT) line.
Originally scheduled for this spring, the report is now expected in late summer, said Brian Haas, a Metro spokesperson, in response to questions from the Boulevard Sentinel.
The delay is due in large part to the addition in October of a route option through Eagle Rock on the 134 Freeway, said Haas. Metro had previously rejected the freeway route in favor of running the BRT on Colorado Boulevard, but came under political pressure to study both options for the Eagle Rock segment of the BRT.
The delay is also needed to give Metro more time to analyze public feedback from community workshops on the NoHo-Pas BRT held by the agency in November, said Haas.
The release of the draft report will be the start of the next phase of the project, which has split the Eagle Rock community between those who favor a route on Colorado Boulevard and those who favor a route on the 134 Freeway.
In the draft report, Metro staff will recommend one route option to the Metro Board to advance to the final review stage, said Haas. The report will also include analyses of alternative route options considered by Metro planners in the course of arriving at the staff recommendation.
The draft report will undergo a minimum 45-day public review period, including one or more public hearings where individuals can give comments and ask questions about the report.
The delay of the draft Environmental Impact Report is the second delay in the project timeline. In 2019, the deadline for public comment on the project was extended by two weeks, mainly to give Eagle Rockers more time to weigh in on the Colorado Boulevard versus 134 Freeway route.
Haas, the Metro spokesperson, said that Metro does not expect the delays to have an effect on the project’s anticipated completion in 2024.
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