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Sunday, December 12, 2004

Is The Bus Too Wide?

One of the more controversial transit projects is what is now referred to as the "Metro Orange Line" or the San Fernando Valley Rapid Transitway. This project is a dedicated busway that runs on a former Southern Pacific right of way that extends from the Metro Red Line Subway Station in North Hollywood to Warner Center.

This project, critcized by transit advocates and the focus of NIMBY lawsuits was a bone thrown to San Fernando Valley residents when the money ran out to complete the Metro Red Line across the Valley.

The latest wrinkle to come for the project was detailed in a Daily News article. Residents and onlookers watching the curently under construction project wonder if the special roadway is actually wide enough for two buses to pass each other. We do too.

In the Daily News story, the MTA says the roadway is 26 feet wide, that the buses are 8 feet wide and need a 10 foot, four inch path when you count in the driver side mirror and the 12 inch distance from the curb the bus needs to travel in. That leaves about five feet of space inbetween the buses as they pass.

But in checking out the specs of the model of the bus to be used - which is an articulated double length bus longer than any bus currently in use in LA - it appears the actual width is about 8' 5", which cuts the space inbetween the buses as they pass each other to just about four feet.

Is that too close for comfort? Will such a long bus crossing major roadways at odd locations and in some cases at strange angles going to have an impact on the Valley's already clogged street traffic, regardless of how many passengers leave their cards behind to use this system? We wonder.


Anonymous Anonymous said:

The busway will be a welcomed addition to the San Fernando Valley by some but not many, yet let's not forget that the voters turned down any future funding for subways in LA County back in 1998. The Valley folks hate anything called "public transportation."

We'll they shouldn't complain much about this busway. There are going to be some great amenities to the project so long as it gets built and no more lawsuits are lodged against MTA by this insignificant group of vocal residents opposed to any progress. I know who to blame for the traffic problems we have in the Valley. Hell this is way cheaper than even one mile of subway.

December 13, 2004 9:11 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

How would the jerk with the above posting know what Valley folk like and don't like. The Valley has always been the stepchild of LA. The Valley was offered NO MASS TRANSIT. No subway's running from City Hall to a deli for the convenience of those who like to eat pastrami !!!

The Valley folk have no time to eat pastrami, they are too busy fighing traffic created by out of LA people who take advantage of the freeway system and don't have the decency to live in the Valley or any other part of LA for that matter.

When the Valley gets first shot at MASS TRANSIT and turns it down.....then you can claim the Valley doesn't like mass transit.

December 13, 2004 3:55 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The Valley WAS offered transit, ya big dummy. The Red Line was supposed to run under that right of way, but that got shot down by NIMBY opposition (the funding probably could have been put in place way back when if Valley residents hadn't screamed so much.) Then there was supposed to be light rail, which met the same fate. Only this busway was eventually amenable to everybody, and even since then, there have been groups trying to get it shut down. So please, spare us the lecture about how "the Valley never gets its fair share." Seriously, it's getting pretty old.

One of the reasons there's not as much transit in the Valley is that there is not enough demand. If you look at a map, you will see that there are MTA lines on most major streets throughout the Valley - and yet, there are lines in the South Bay and downtown areas that carry almost as many people in a single day as ALL the Valley lines combined.

December 13, 2004 5:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

i agree with the above comments. The Valley had its chance. Opps they lost it. I wonder why. Also, what's with the name calling from the second poster. You've got some serious issues. Please question poster comments and offer your perspective, but don't shoot people down. Your a class act buddy (NOT)!

December 13, 2004 5:45 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey, who isn't sitting in traffic nowadays in LA? Poor Valley and their pastrami. Get in line with the rest of us stuck in traffic. Sounds like they had many opportunities for mass transit, but didn't care. I'd rather be on the bus, rail or subway than stuck in traffic so I can read about how bad the Mayor is doing in office.

December 13, 2004 5:51 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

It is true that the Valley blew it. Its a sure sign of the (mostly) lousy leadership we have, particularly in the business community. Most Chamber of Commerce leadership is a joke and the homeowner groups are even worse. The NIMBYs got old Alan Robbins to pass a law that basically banned the Red Line west of Lankershim Blvd. and later joinedw tih Zev to eliminate funding for any further rail. From a transit point of view, the Red Line need have been subway west of Lankershim, like BART it could have easily been in a trench where necessary and ground level otherwise.

You also have folks like Antonovich playing with his monorail proposal coupled with no real business leadership in the region.

As a side note, a year or two back, a current past president of the Universal City-North Hollywood Chamber of Commerce - Joe Hooven - had one of the most visionary ideas to come out of the Valley. That was to merge its 20 something small chambers into one regional operation like the LA Area Chamber. It could have had a professional staff and the leadership the Valley business community could use. But the tea and cupcakes leadership of the local chambers - who love to hob knob with local council aides as if they were Britney Spears - poo pooed cause they would have to give up their parochial powers.

There is the United Chambers of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley, but this is essentially a coffee klatch.

The Valley can clearly pin the lack of mass transit AND the loss of secession squarely on the back of these mostly ineffective leaders. Yes there were forces that conspired against them, but had they had a good team and a good plan, they would have won. Until they are honest and admit such, they are doomed to repeated failure and any marginal or hollow victories are essentially the result of their incessant whining and LA pols' desires to shut them up for the time being.

December 13, 2004 7:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Bravo to the above poster. Great comments and insight on the history of the Valley. It represents the ineffective leadership of our business, community and political leaders over the last 20+ years in the area of transportation. Looking back it amazes me how much was squandered when there were so many opportunities and potential for smart growth and development especially in the way of transportation proposals.

Though the Orange Line is a creative proposal, it is indicative of the failure of our leaders (all of them) in urging transportation planners to give us the most effective means of transportation rather than a dedicated busway that can take as long as a car ride along Victory from the West Valley to North Hollywood. Will leadership emerge on this issue? Probably not. The State of California keeps on withholding precious gas tax money to pay off the sins of the last 4+ years plus local community leaders continue to fight against projects rather than fight for the money we need to solve or alleviate this traffic problem.

December 14, 2004 8:03 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey, Mayor Sam, haven't you ever heard of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association? It's pretty similar to what you're talking about. Oh sure, there's still the small chambers, but VICA is fairly influential.

December 14, 2004 5:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey, watch the Britney Spears comments, above poster. Haven't you seen Jen Forkish of Zine's office. Meeting with her is better than Britney Spears and closer and....well, forget about one big chamber. This is about CONTACT !!!!

December 15, 2004 10:56 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


Is this the Jennifer Forkish you're talking about?

I'll take Britney. At least she ain't a Democrat.

(Republican girls are better in the sack they say)

December 16, 2004 6:22 PM  

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