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Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit Project

Overview

Metro, the City of Los Angeles, and Los Angeles County are considering the feasibility of implementing a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project on Wilshire Boulevard within the City of Los Angeles. This joint effort is being evaluated through the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment (EIR/EA).

The EIR/EA will be prepared in compliance with State and Federal environmental requirements. It will examine the potential for dedicated curbside bus lanes during the morning and evening rush hours along Wilshire Boulevard, from just west of the I-110 Freeway to the Santa Monica city line. Portions of Wilshire Boulevard within the City of Beverly Hills are not included in this project. The purpose of the EIR/EA is to evaluate the social, economic, and environmental issues associated with the proposed improvements included in the Wilshire Boulevard Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project. It will also evaluate project alternatives.

Study Background

These same three agencies began evaluating the proposed Wilshire Boulevard BRT Project in November 2008 as part of preparing an Initial Study/Environmental Assessment (IS/EA). An EIR/EA is now being prepared as a consequence of input received at several community meetings held along the corridor at that time, additional public input, and technical analyses that have been conducted.

Project Summary

The project is proposed for Wilshire Boulevard within the City of Los Angeles stretching from Valencia Street (slightly west of the I-110 Freeway) to the Santa Monica City Line at Centinela Avenue.  Portions of Wilshire Boulevard within the City of Beverly Hills are not included in the proposed project. A majority of the project falls within the mid-western area of the City of Los Angeles and would include 9.6 miles of peak period curbside bus lanes. A small portion of the project, between Sepulveda Boulevard and Federal Avenue (approximately .6 miles), near the Veterans Administration facilities, is within Los Angles County jurisdiction.

A number of general improvements would be required as part of the proposed project. These include some restriping of traffic lanes; conversion of existing curb lanes to peak period bus lanes in each direction; upgrade of the existing transit signal priority system; street widening and/or street reconstruction in select areas; and installation of traffic/transit signage and pavement markings, as necessary.  

Most of the existing curb lanes in the City of Los Angeles would be “converted” to bus and right-turn only operation in the peak periods (7 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 7 pm) on weekdays. In these segments, the curb lanes would be repaired or reconstructed, where necessary, and all would be restriped and signed as peak period bus lanes. In other areas, curbside bus lanes would be added as new lanes to Wilshire Boulevard by widening and restriping. Upgrades to the transit signal priority system would also be implemented, including (1) addition of bus signal priority at intersections with near-side bus stops (a recently developed and successfully tested concept), (2) increase in the maximum available time for transit signal priority from 10 percent to 15 percent of the traffic signal cycle at minor intersections, and (3) reduction in the number of traffic signal recovery cycles from two to one at key intersections along the corridor.

The project components within the Los Angeles County portions of Wilshire Boulevard include the extension of the eastbound left turn pocket at Sepulveda Boulevard and street widening and restriping between Federal Avenue and Bonsall Avenue to add an eastbound peak period bus lane.