Open Letter to the Metro Board Regarding Wilshire Bus Only Lane

December 9, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Posted in Bike News | 2 Comments
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Dear Metro Board of Supervisors:

Today, you voted to exempt the area on Wilshire between Comstock Ave. and Selby Ave. in Westwood, also known as “Condo Canyon” from the Wilshire Bus-Only Lane (BRT) Project. The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is writing to express our profound disappointment in your decision today to disregard the needs of tens of thousands of bus riders and cyclists in favor of a small wealthy enclave of residents in Council District 5. Various low-income, environmental, transit user, student, and cyclist community organizations  mobilized to support Metro and LADOT’s staff recommendation of moving forward with this project without exemptions. In fact the bulk of today’s comments were in support of the complete project.

Yet it was clear that Supervisor Yaroslavsky and other Board members never intended to approve the EIR as recommended by staff. The Board blatantly opposed the wishes and essentially disrespected the political process by failing to truly acknowledging today’s public comment and the hundreds of letters submitted in support of the staff’s recommendations. Supervisor Yaroslavsky made it clear in his comments today that a minority of affluent drivers’ voices and financial positioning held more influence.

Despite the strong support of LADOT, whose study determined that travel time would only be reduced by 30 seconds (at worst) at intersections not directly in Westwood, the Board showed its pre-determined bias by swaying to the Condo Canyon community and their privately funded “independent study.”

As members of the Metro Board of Directors you should all be committed to upholding Metro’s Mission of being “responsible for the continuous improvement of an efficient and effective transportation system for Los Angeles County” and to uphold the values of sustainability, integrity, and in identifying best practices for continuous improvements. This decision reflects an obvious derailment of your responsibilities as Metro Board Members. By not supporting a complete bus/bike lane throughout the busiest corridor in the nation you are not supporting the best interest of all the taxpayers in LA.

We hope in the future the Metro Board of Directors steps up and demonstrates leadership for our region and prioritizes progressive transportation solutions that benefit those who have to commute without cars–and those who should–via bike, bus, rail, or by foot, instead of maintaining the status quo of dangerous, unhealthy, and auto choked streets.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Klausner

Executive Director

Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition

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2 Comments »

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  1. Today I sat though the entire board weeting from approx. 9:30 to 2:00. I too am disappointed that the Board did not accept the recomendations of staff and accept the will of the majority. However, there may be other things at work. The supervisor may have concerns of possible legal challenges. I beleive that the Supervior’s office may be more supportive of the proposed subways into the westside.

    It should ne noted that he asked staff to report on the impact of his decision. He asked that staff update the environmental report and, if time allows, to study how the merging of buses into the mixed use lanes will impact traffic. I think there may be a second opportunity there. I beleve if staff can clearly show that buses entering the mixed use lane will substantially have a negitive impact on traffice, the support of the supervisors office would be forthcoming.

  2. Great letter, Jen. Thank you LACBC.


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