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Eagle Rock wants rapid bus service on Colorado Boulevard

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A route connecting North Hollywood and Pasadena could pass through or bypass the neighborhood

Orange Line bus EMBARQ Brasil | creative commons

Metro is currently considering options for a planned rapid bus system that would travel between North Hollywood and Pasadena, and residents of Eagle Rock evidently don’t want to miss out on any of the dedicated bus-lane action. As The Eastsider reports, the local neighborhood council has voted to support a proposed route for the bus line that would travel through the community along Colorado Boulevard.

Other routes being studied by Metro would bypass Eagle Rock altogether, instead taking the bus over the 134 Freeway. But in a letter to Metro, Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council President Lisa Kable Blanchard argues that a rapid bus servicing Colorado Boulevard would be a major benefit to local businesses.

One of the first Measure M-funded projects that Metro is likely to build, the rapid bus line would create a direct connection between the Gold Line in Pasadena and the Red and Orange lines where they meet at the North Hollywood station.

According to a technical study from Metro, LA officials have advocated for a primary street alignment that would serve Colorado Boulevard—even while representatives of Glendale and Burbank have expressed hesitation about a route that would interfere with street parking availability on major thoroughfares.

Renderings of rapid bus options Metro Los Angeles

Eastsider further speculates that some Eagle Rock residents may not be thrilled about the prospect of a dedicated bus lane that would reduce the number of lanes available to private vehicles to just one on each side of the road.

The difference between the primary street alignment and one that runs along the freeway is significant. The streets option would cost around twice as much to build (between $274 and $448 million as opposed to $123 to $246 million) and would require an additional $4 million per year to operate and maintain. The travel time along the street running route would also be longer by about 25 minutes.

The added length could be a fair tradeoff for a route that serves more communities. Metro estimates that a street running route would attract about 18,000 riders per day by 2035. The freeway option, on the other hand, is predicted to attract 10,300 riders. More passengers would mean greater revenue to help cover some of the cost disparity between the two routes.

The North Hollywood to Pasadena line is one of two rapid bus projects Metro is now preparing to build. The other would extend along the Vermont corridor between Hollywood and 120th Street. The latter project is scheduled to break ground in 2024, while the North Hollywood to Pasadena route will break ground in 2020, after a period of environmental review and public input.