LA Finally Approves Dedicated Bus Lanes Along Wilshire Boulevard

The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority finally approved the construction of 7.7 miles of bus lanes along Wilshire Boulevard, with the exception of a one mile stretch in Westwood known as 'Condo Canyon.'

The $31 million project includes planned street widening, new turn lanes and resurfacing to create dedicated busway lanes that will operate between the hours of 7-9AM and 4-7PM on weekdays. The new lanes are expected to reduce bus travel times along the entirety of the route by 12 minutes, while extending times for motorists by 6 minutes. The project, which could be completed by the summer of 2012, is expected to increase daily bus ridership along the corridor from 29,000 to at least 33,000.

Some who opposed breaking up the bus lanes accused the MTA board of caving in to the interests of well-off homeowners at the expense of low-wage earners, students and others who would use the line.

"You need to prioritize the interests of those who work and go to school over the interests of a few," said Alexis Lantz of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. "You need to think beyond the views of elite Westside homeowners."

Other critics argued the project will have little effect on motorists using the boulevard or nearby parallel streets. They are more worried that the Westwood exemption sets a precedent for other interest groups to get their own areas cut out of the plan.

Full Story: MTA Approves Bus Only Lanes On Wilshire

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