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L.A. Council requests study of shorter Wilshire busway route

Los Angeles City Council members called on transit officials Wednesday to study a shorter bus lane project for Wilshire Boulevard, but they refused to officially support the 5.4-mile option, which would eliminate the Westside leg of the planned route.

Council members voted 11 to 2 to add the alternative to an ongoing environmental review of a 7.7-mile busway system planned by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.

The current bus proposal would operate during rush hours between MacArthur Park and South San Vicente Boulevard on Beverly Hills’ eastern border. The line would resume west of Beverly Hills and extend to Centinela Avenue, but it would not run between Selby and Comstock avenues, an area of Westwood known for its high-rise development.

The 5.4-mile option touted by Councilman Bill Rosendahl would only operate between MacArthur Park and South San Vicente.

“Let’s study the options and make an informed decision,” said Councilman Paul Krekorian, who along with several of his colleagues did not want to formally back the 5.4-mile alternative.

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After the environmental review is completed in April, the MTA board and the City Council must agree on a preferred route before the project can proceed.

Councilmen Richard Alarcon and Tony Cardenas voted against studying the 5.4-mile route, saying the longer alternatives would be better for transit riders, provide jobs and secure millions of dollars in federal funds for the busway.

The council also approved a separate study of a 15-mile Wilshire busway from downtown to the ocean, as well as a plan to engage Santa Monica and Beverly Hills officials in discussions about the idea. Santa Monica and Beverly Hills are not participating in the current project, fragmenting the line.

dan.weikel@latimes.com


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