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Council OKs Study for Proposed Busway

September 06, 2000|ANNETTE KONDO

The Los Angeles City Council decided Tuesday to move forward with a study to explore a proposed north-south busway in the northeast San Fernando Valley.

In July, Gov. Gray Davis included $100 million for the bus corridor in his state budget.

The concept, strongly backed by several Valley legislators who lobbied Davis for the funding, is for a new bus service that might travel along a dedicated lane. The project may be modeled after a similar system in Curtiba, Brazil. Another idea is to employ a rapid bus concept that relies on equipment that can hold green lights longer for buses.

Councilman Alex Padilla, who made the motion for the study and whose district includes most of the northeast Valley, said residents in his area are heavily dependent on buses and need improved service.

"To see how underserved it is all I have to do is go to the corner of Van Nuys Boulevard and San Fernando Road and see the numbers of people waiting for a bus," he said.

Padilla's motion, approved unanimously by the council, directs the city's Department of Transportation to work with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to develop a report on route alternatives, and the potential impact on the community.

The MTA is studying three other possible dedicated busways based on the Curtiba model: a Burbank/Chandler boulevards route in the Valley, Exposition Boulevard, and an Eastside route in Los Angeles.

A full study of a possible route--including its environmental impact, public hearings, costs--takes about a year, MTA officials said.

With the $100 million, Padilla said he is optimistic that the bulk, if not all, of a north-south busway in the Valley could be built.

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