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Public gives input on express bus line that would connect the valleys

Metro BRT project
Metro is looking to connect North Hollywood, Pasadena and the communities in between with a bus rapid-tranist system.
(Courtesy of Metro)

The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority gathered public input Monday on a proposed rapid bus system connecting North Hollywood to Pasadena.

More than 80 people attended the meeting in the Buena Vista Branch Library in Burbank. About 20 speakers lauded the project, which was likened to a light-rail line for the streets.

Metro is in the process of creating a draft environmental impact report and for several weeks has been gathering public input from the corridor communities — North Hollywood, Burbank, Glendale, Eagle Rock and Pasadena. The agency will accept input through July 31.

Metro project manager Scott Hartwell explained that the 18-mile route from the Red Line station in North Hollywood to the Gold Line station in Pasadena has been finely tuned over the last two years, but there is still more work to be done.

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Metro’s current preferred route would travel south on Lankershim Boulevard, east on the 134 Freeway, exit at Burbank’s Media District, north on Olive Avenue and east on Glenoaks Boulevard until Central Avenue.

At that point, the agency could choose to send the buses east on the 134 or proceed south on Central and then go east either at Broadway or Colorado Street.

All three options would result in buses traveling east on Broadway toward Eagle Rock.

The rapid transit bus would then travel east on Colorado Boulevard through Eagle Rock and hop onto the 134 — yet again to exit either at Colorado or Fair Oaks Avenue. Metro could then opt for the buses to connect to the Gold Line station at Memorial Park or continue along Colorado toward Pasadena City College.

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Hartwell said the bus rapid-transit system in this corridor could use a mixture of lane options — curb-running, side-running (alongside parking and bicycle lanes) and center-running — to quickly get the buses to the proposed 18 or 21 stations.

Glendale resident Kenny Uong told Metro staff that the line would help those looking to travel between the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys.

“It is imperative that Metro brings this equitable transit option to these regions,” Uong said. “After years of going on commutes consisting of two buses to get from my home in Glendale to North Hollywood, Eagle Rock and Pasadena, I am ready for a one-seat BRT ride that will take me to places along the region in a direct, convenient manner.”

Burbank resident Joshua Goodman urged Metro to utilize electric buses over natural gas models to reduce emissions.

“An 18-mile route is perfect for battery-electric buses,” he said. “There’s really no reason to start off with natural gas and then go to electric vehicles later.”

Eagle rock resident Mona Field said she is in favor of the transit option but not at the cost of losing a traffic lane along Colorado.

“No matter how much we wish to see this future, the truth is people still need cars,” Field said. “We still need to have the current configuration of traffic lanes, and we need to not lose any parking or vehicle lanes.”

Michelle McKinley, also of Eagle Rock, said it was illogical to remove a traffic lane from Colorado. She’d prefer the rapid bus not get a dedicated lane.

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“All it will do is cause congestion for the local people of Eagle Rock,” she said.


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