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1 Mile Break in Wilshire Rapid Lane Won't Affect Funding

A Rapid 720 bus in traffic on Wilshire near Westwood (Photo by TinCanOrange via LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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Westwood condo-dwellers who object to converting lanes on busy Wilshire Boulevard into Metro Rapid bus-only lanes twice daily during rush hour periods insist a one mile segment of the proposed 8.7 mile stretch be exempted. Now the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority says that exemption won't render the project ineligible to receive federal aid for bus rapid transit endeavors, according to LA Now.

The exception would be on the stretch between Comstock and Selby, where numerous high-rise condominiums tower over the heavily-traveled Boulevard. Metro is working to include the exemption, and wrote to the Federal Transit Administration on November 29th to indicate the project would be reduced to 7.7 miles and that the cost would be lowered from $31.5 million to $27 million; the new amount of federal funding would be $19.9 million under the adjusted proposal.

Metro will be voting on the project on December 9th. LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky agrees with the condo residents, who say they will be locked out of the flow of traffic, and that delivery vehicles will have reduced access. Further, residents of Brentwood and West Los Angeles "say Metro failed to adequately study all of the potential ill effects on automobile traffic, while others "say the bus lane was being promoted for the purpose of fixing streets that the city otherwise could not afford to repair."