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MTA Releases BRT EIR and Brentwood Is All 'Huh?'

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority releases many megabytes of documents on Good Friday. Few people have read them, so we asked Weird Al Yankovic to sing "Another One Rides the Bus" for your elucidation.

hasn't had time to read the documents yet.

s office promises a response later.

Almost everyone has nothing to say about the multimegabyte Environmental Impact Report released Friday by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority—MTA's long-awaited EIR on the proposed Wilshire Boulevard dedicated rush-hour  bus lanes.

You'll need to download more than three dozen files to get the complete EIR.

As expected, the EIR says the project will reduce commute times, and the longer the bus lanes run contiguously, the better commute times will be.

Rosendahl and Freedman don't want dedicated Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lanes on the .8 mile Brentwood portion of Wilshire between Barrington and Centinela, which borders the City of Santa Monica, citing traffic congestion.

In February, Rosendahl secured a compromise from the City Council.

Rosendahl had called on his colleagues to "affirm support" for exempting all of the Westside from what's currently a 7.7-mile, non-continuous route from South Park View Street at MacArthur Park to Centinela Avenue, but  settled instead for a 5.4-mile route to East San Vicente Boulevard, the Beverly Hills border.

Rosendahl complained that the gaps in the 7.7-mile route—through Beverly Hills and "condo canyon" in Westwood—could worsen the already nightmarish traffic gridlock in the 11th District.

Now the MTA (also known as Metro or Metro.net) has taken the next, expected step in the sequence of events, the release of an EIR.

The MTA's PDFs provide evidence of the organized opposition in Westwood and organized support from the Los Angeles Bus Riders Union. [See photos for two samples.]

Public transit booster Damien Newton of LA Streets Blog [photo] found a half-empty glass:

The “Rosendahl Exemption” drops the time savings from the original 10-15 minutes all the way down to a 6-9 minute savings, a 40 percent reduction in effectiveness.

One gem from the docs: Traffic counts used as the basis of the study consisted of one 30-minute survey at Wilshire and Barrington in 2008.

Another interesting find:

"The city of Santa Monica was not included as part of this project because it includes the tail end of the corridor (approximately 2.5 miles), where passenger demand drops off."

We're planning more analysis and reaction in an article Tuesday. Selected PDFs are available here on Brentwood Patch to view and download.  For all the PDFs, follow the link to Metro.net.

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Skip Farnsworth April 25, 2011 at 03:59 PM
Those lanes don't work on the Westside. It only makes traffic worse
Dennis Wilen April 25, 2011 at 04:35 PM
The 'we don't need to include Santa Monica' quote I found is insane; it presupposes bus riders commute to Santa Monica and never leave. I'm sure eastbound ridership would drop off at MacArthur Park as well. Doh!
SteveCase April 26, 2011 at 06:57 PM
the bad thing about having bad journalism on a neighborhood Patch site is that it can spoil the entire brand.
Damien Newton April 27, 2011 at 02:24 AM
For the record, re: the twitter image above, the Brentwood/Condo Canyon residents all testified immediately after a group of Bus Riders Union supporters complained about the racial/age divide on the issue. Immediately following that testimony there were something like 8-10 older Caucasian people testifying in favor of an exemption. It sort of wrote itself from there. One's age or racial demo doesn't have anything to do with the validity of their opinion.
Dee Holtzman May 06, 2011 at 09:41 PM
I'm not retired, but will note that some of the most thoughtful participants in civic life are. That includes much if not most of the membership of the League of Women Voters. I will also note that West of the 405 really suffered with increased noise and air pollution, and general agitation, when peak-hour bus-only curb lanes were tried before. It turns out that L.A. won't get any less money if it leaves out West of the 405 this time, so it should.

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