Wilshire Boulevard - one of the highest volume bus lines on the planet - photo LA Wad via L.A. Streetsblog

Since the formation of the Green L.A. Transportation Working Group five years ago, one of our top priorities has been the implementation of Bus-Only Lanes (BOL)in the city of Los Angeles. Bus-Only lanes are a very low cost, very effective way of increasing mobility, including increasing transit speed and capacity.

At that time, it appeared that the Wilshire Bus-Only Lane project implementation was just around the corner… but the project has dragged on and on. Finally, it’s now imminent (at least it’s funded and the environmental review is about to be approved – construction may drag it out a bit more), and there’s a lot of resistance from some anti-bus homeowners along Wilshire near Westwood.

Green L.A. Transportation Working Group’s Bus Riders Union representative Esperanza Martinez passed along the following action alert in support of implementing the full bus lane project:

Hello GLA friends, members and allies,

Many of you have been an important part of our fight to make the Wilshire Bus Only Lanes project a reality! All the way from fighting to protect the initial one mile thru the DEIR process and now what we should be the last round before we make it home safe to a full 8.7 mile implementation!! Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome our new co-chairs Dorothy Le and Jerard Wright!!!

DRAFT AGENDA
Tuesday, December 8, 2-4PM
The California Endowment, Ste. B, 1000 N. Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 – 1 block north of Union Station

1. Introductions:  15 minutes

2. Green LA Retreat – Steering Committee Update (Joe/Stephanie): 30 minutes

3. Last meeting updates : 30 minutes

   – Measure R bike/ped funding  (Dorothy)
   – Parking In-Lieu Paper (Ryan L.)
   – Bus Only Lane (Sunyoung/Esperanza)
   – Metro/Carolyn Chiu leaving (Deborah)

4.  LA Bike Plan Update (Dorothy): 10 minutes

5. LA Marathon Temporary “Bus Street” Action (Jerard): 5 minutes

6. New LACMTA Chief Planning Officer Recommendations (James Rojas?): 5 minutes

7. TAXI for 2010 strategy discussion  (Betty/Sentayehu): 10 minutes

8. Living Streets Grant Working Group (Ryan S./Deborah): 5 minutes

9. Member Forum/General Announcements: 10 minutes

Tomorrow will be the October Green L.A. Transportation Work Group meeting. It happens every month at 2pm on the second Tuesday of the month. Note the new location – the Califonia Endowment.

Tuesday, October 13th 2009 2pm-4pm
at the California Endowment, 1000 N. Alameda Street, LA 90012
Meeting room on 2nd Floor – at Community Partners

Green L.A. Coalition encourages attendees to use transit, bike or walk to the meeting. The site is one block north of Union Station, with convenient access via Metro Red and Gold Lines and numerous bus lines. If bicycling or driving, parking is available on-site.


Agenda Items

1. Campaign Updates
– Wilshire Bus-Only Lanes
– Complete/Living Streets
– In-Lieu Parking
– City Measure R Funding for Bike/Ped
– How do we want to follow-up on SB 375?

2. Working Group Business
– Revisit Workplan Priorities
– Select New Co-Chairs (discussion, likely to be decision in November)

3. Announcements

Green L.A. Coalition encourages attendees to use transit, bike or walk to the event. The site is one block north of Union Station, with convenient acess via Metro Red and Gold Lines and numerous bus lines. If bicycling or driving, parking is available onsite.
Wilshire Bus-Only Lane Project Map - from Metro Website - Click for 2-page Metro Fact Sheet with Detailed Map

Wilshire Bus-Only Lane Project Map - from Metro Website - Click for 2-page Metro Fact Sheet with Detailed Map

Since the Fall of 2006, before I got involved with the Green L.A. Transportation Working Group, GLATWG has had among its top three goals the following: (from our 2006 publication A Green Los Angeles)

Reccomendation: Increase bus-only lanes
Immediately begin planning implementation of more peak-hour bus-only lanes.

The Bus Riders Union has lead the campaign for the city of Los Angeles’ Wilshire Boulevard bus-0nly lanes, and many GLATWG members have testified in favor of these lanes at public hearing. The Wilshire project is funded, and currently undergoing environmental review. Readers can find out more about the project at Metro’s website and at this recent article at L.A. StreetsBlog.

The project as currently planned and funded will run on Wilshire Boulevard from Valencia Street (in Pico Union) to Centinela (the L.A. – Santa Monica border), though does not include the stretch of Wilshire through the city of Beverly Hills. The neighborhoods traversed are represented by Los Angeles City Councilmembers (from East to West)  Ed Reyes, Herb Wesson, Tom LaBonge, Paul Koretz, and Bill Rosendahl.

Green L.A. Transportation Work Group recently generated the following sign-on letter in which our participants expressed our bus-only lane project support to newly-elected Councilmember Paul Koretz:

8 September 2009

Honorable Councilmember Paul Koretz
200 North Spring Street, Room 440
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Re: Wilshire Boulevard Bus-Only Lane Project

Dear Councilmember Koretz:

Thank you for your strong record of environmental leadership at the city of West Hollywood, and in the State Legislature. We look forward to working with you to make progress on environmental issues in the city of Los Angeles.

The undersigned Green Los Angeles Coalition members listed below wish to express our support for the implementation of the city’s planned and funded bus only lanes for Wilshire Boulevard. The Green L.A. Coalition is a broad coalition of environmental justice and environmental groups working to make Los Angeles more equitable and more sustainable for all its residents.

The Wilshire Bus-Only Lane project is important as a visible example of the city’s commitment to green transportation. This project will help the city to expand mobility options, to set precedent for more complete living streets, to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollution, and to improve public health.  The Wilshire Bus-Only Lanes broaden the range of transportation options, including supporting multimodal trips combining walking and bicycling with transit.

Please exercise your environmental leadership to ensure that this project continues to make progress, and to see that it is implemented in a timely manner.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Joe Linton
Green L.A. Transportation Working Group Co-Chair
Urban and Environmental Policy Institute

Colleen Callahan
Manager of Air Quality Policy and Advocacy
American Lung Association in California

Jennifer Klausner
Executive Director
Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition

Deborah Murphy
Los Angeles Walks, Founder
City of Los Angeles Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Chair

Francisca Porchas
Lead Organizer Clean Air Campaign
Bus Riders Union

Bart Reed
Executive Director
Transit Coalition

Martin Schlageter
Campaign Director
Coalition for Clean Air

Sentayehu G Silassie
Board President
Los Angeles Taxi Workers Alliance

Ryan Snyder
RSA Associates

Erin Steva
Transportation Advocate
CALPIRG

Denny Zane
Executive Director
Move L.A.*

*title/organization is for identification purposes only

 cc: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, LADOT General Manager Rita Robinson, Los Angeles City Councilmembers LaBonge, Reyes, Rosendahl, and Wesson

Green LA Transportation Work Group (GLATWG) meets the second Tuesday of each month from 2pm-4pm. The next meeting will be Tuesday September 8th at the offices of the Coalition for Clean Air at 811 W. 7th Street, Suite 1100, LA 90017. Located above the Metro Red/Blue Line 7th Street Station.

Draft Agenda:

1. Report-Back Jaime de la Vega Meeting
2. Wilshire Bus-Ony Lanes
3. Living Streets Next Steps
4. Metro Long Range Transportation Plan, including issues with Measure R Local Return funding for ped/bike/bus
5. Taxicab update (To be confirmed)
6. Parking report
7. Check-in on GLATWG workplan (To be confirmed)

Notes taken by Stephanie Taylor.

Green LA Coalition Transportation Work Group Meeting 4/14/09
at Coalition for Clean Air – 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Notes

AGENDA

1. Work Plan – Identify benchmarks and timelines
2. City Budget
3. Mayor’s Meeting Review and Confirm Accomplishment & Ask
4. Presentation on Cicolvia
5. Updates/Report Back
1. Federal Stimulus
2. Federal Reauthorization
3. Metro Board – new members
4. Measure R – any immediate steps (?)
5. National Bike Summit

Work Plan

1) Complete Streets:

* Need to create a statement about Complete Streets to add to the blog.
Legal definition… state level, Caltrans Deputy Directives 64.
Also, add resources. – walkability checklist.

Action Items:
1. Joe will write a statement.  Complete Streets has all modes, cars, bikes, transit, ped… doesn’t favor one mode.
2. Jerard will send out email asking for photos with a blog link
3. Joe made a blog, we could post comment with links and do a flickr page.
4. Stephen Box will add legal definitions.   Add the Good magazine links.
Find any research on sidewalk standards.
5. Stephen Villavaso will send links on Austin Complete Streets.

2) Wilshire Bus Only Lane:

Ask the BRU – to see what the status is.  Follow their lead.  If we wanted to we could generate a list of possible good prospects for additional bus only lane.  The city of LA is doing this but reluctantly… if there was an outcry for more, maybe they’ll move quicker.

Action Item:
1. Joe will follow up with BRU to see if pressure points.

City Budget:

City of LA- budget comes out on Monday.  Facing $530 million deficit.

The bike and ped budget is a mystery.

If we had an ask: Don’t gut the bike and ped budget.

We could look it at the budget and analyze to try to influence the council to modify it for bike and ped projects.   Budget should be tied to a departmental strategic plan to establish priorities to hold them accountable and let departments be rewarded for performance.

Action items:
1) Take a look at Measure R with budget.
2) Stephanie will ask Jaime de la Vega about how the Measure R Local Return allocation will be decided.

Parking Ordinance:

* Do we want to get CRA support on the ordinance?  Look at downtown parking study.  Yes, we should meet with CRA.
* Would it revise traffic impact analysis?  No in transit rich places, have 20% excess parking.  The traffic impact analysis guides the …
* Parking update- The City of LA is attempting to sell their parking revenue for upfront money.  Chicago  sold their parking revenue for $500 million.  Not a good idea- it would privatize meter readers… bust union labor.    City gives up control and ability to use parking policy as a tool.
* Damien will write a blog about it tomorrow.
* The Mayor’s office was excited, but the council liked the revenue but had questions about control.  The mayor formed a task force.
* Budget gimmicks for one time borrowing is bad because it doesn’t address the structural problems.
* Push to have city to have a public private partnership template.
* The TOD Parking report will be done by April 30. Next step to shop it around to city council.

Measure R/Local Returns:

How other cities are using local returns (report from Tom Johnson):
* City of Bellflower-  Pacific Edison train tracks – put a bike path.    Used their Fed Stimulus.
* Long Beach – wants to spend $1 million on bike improvements – shared road, bike box- safe place to weight.
* Lakewood Blvd – Caltrans is responsible for its a highway.  So if want to make a bike lane, need to go with city.  City has to submit plan to Caltrans, but Caltrans hasn’t told them what to submit.
* A lot of cities haven’t figured out what to do with Local Return money.
* Increase connectivity to LA and other cities.

Action Item:
1. Set up a meeting with Rita Robinson as a new Metro board member.  First need to develop an ask.

Ciclovia Presentation:

Stephen Villavaso and Bobby Gadda of the LA Bicycle Coalition gave a presentation on the Ciclovia and LA’s effort (ClicLAvia).  Would like to pilot a Ciclavia in LA in the summer. Talking to Garcetti’s office about Hollywood Blvd.

www.ciclavia.wordpress.com

Action Items:
1) Raise awareness of the Ciclavia concept.  Share the link on facebook.
2) Send the link to the workgroup
3) When the right time, the group can write a support letter.