Out of seemingly nowhere, Metro has announced it will begin building the peak-hour bus-only lanes on Wilshire Boulevard. Work starts Monday to remove lane striking, paint new stripes, mark pavement with "Bus Only" messages, and install "Bus Lane" signs on the project's first phase, from MacArthur Park to Western Avenue (yes, you can currently take the subway from both those two intersections). The lane will eventually stretch all the way to Centinela in Santa Monica. The 1.8-mile Westlake-to-Koreatown section goes online at 7 am on Wednesday, June 5; the lanes are bus-only from 7 to 9 am and 4 to 7 pm on weekdays. Drivers using the lanes during rush hour will be ticketed, but for a "short period" will only be issued warnings.
Beverly Hills will not be included in the project, nor will a mile of Condo Canyon in Westwood.
From Metro: "When the entire Wilshire Boulevard BRT project is completed in late 2014, it is designed to cut bus commute times by 15 minutes on 12.5 miles between downtown and Centinela Avenue in Santa Monica. Street improvements and selective street widening will be made along 9.9 miles of Wilshire Boulevard with BRT lanes on 7.7 miles."
A $23.3-million federal grant, coupled with an $8.2-million local match, paid for the project.
"The next segment is Western to San Vicente and covers 3.6 miles," Metro's Paul Gonzales tells us. "It will feature reconstructed curb lanes and a conversion to peak period bus lanes. Expected time of completion is November 2014." So, why will the next portion take so long? "The work is not being done in any linear or chronological order. Work will be on-going at the same time along various parts of the route."
· Wilshire Bus Lane Archives [Curbed LA]