By T.A. Hendrickson
May 19: At a meeting today of the Metro Board Planning and Programming committee, Metro staff will present two options for a bus rapid transit (BRT) route through Eagle Rock and ask the committee to advance both options to the next planning stage for the proposed North Hollywood to Pasadena BRT line.
The route options for Eagle Rock, along with Metro’s recommendations for other routes along the NoHo-Pas line, are detailed in this Board Report, prepared by Metro staff. This link tells you how to participate in the meeting, which starts at 3 p.m., and gives details of the agenda at item #15.
In a nutshell, one of the options for Eagle Rock would reduce much of Colorado Boulevard to one-car-lane-each-way in order to create room for dedicated bus lanes and enhanced bike lanes. Another option would retain two-car-lanes-each-way and the bike lanes while reducing the medians, parking and/or curb extensions to make room for dedicated bus lanes. Metro has acknowledged that its one-car-lane idea would impact traffic and that its two-car-lane approach would impact parking and the medians, though it has indicated in the Board Report that further refinements to the options could potentially mitigate the negative effects.
Metro also noted in the Board Report that both design options maintain buffered bike lanes on the boulevard. How to accommodate the bike lanes has been a central issue in arriving at the two options now on the table.
At the meeting, Metro staff will ask the Planning Committee board members to approve both options for further study in an upcoming Final Draft Environmental Impact Report (FEIR). Based on the findings of the FEIR, including public input, Metro staff will recommend a final option to the Board for approval.
Metro’s decision to advance two options to the FEIR stage is consistent with the stance taken recently by City Councilmember Kevin de León. In a letter provided to the Boulevard Sentinel and subsequently posted on his Facebook page, De León said that Metro had pushed ahead with the one-car-lane-option without presenting a full picture of the plan to Eagle Rockers and adequately soliciting their feedback. He called on Metro to develop a two-car-lane-each-way option in addition to its one-car-lane-each-way proposal and to hold meetings that would allow the public to compare and contrast the two approaches before moving forward with a plan for the Eagle Rock segment of the BRT.