Metro’s rendering of the one-car-lane-each-way proposal for Colorado Boulevard shows one car driving east toward Maywood Avenue and one parked car. The reality would be more crowded conditions for cars, though bicyclists and pedestrians would benefit.

Metro to present proposal to reduce much of Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock to one car lane each way

2021 April Editions More News

By T.A. Hendrickson

The push is on for a bus rapid transit (BRT) route through Eagle Rock that would reduce Colorado Boulevard to one car lane each way between Eagle Rock Boulevard and Linda Rosa Avenue. The car-lane reduction would create room for dedicated bus lanes and enhanced bike lanes, while preserving most on-street parking. 

Metro will present the one-car-lane-each-way proposal at a public Zoom meeting on April 1.  Details of the meeting, which will cover BRT routes in Eagle Rock and other cities along the North Hollywood to Pasadena (NoHo-Pas) line, are here.

The April 1 meeting comes on the heels of at least six recent meetings on the proposal at high levels of local government — an indication of deep political interest in the idea.

According to Metro spokesperson Brian Haas, the one-car-lane-each-way proposal was the topic of meetings in March between Metro and staff members representing Mayor Eric Garcetti, CD 14 City Councilmember Kevin de León, L. A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Hilda Solis, State Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo, Glendale Mayor and Metro Board Member Ara Najarian and the L.A. Department of Transportation. 

Metro also previewed the one-car-lane-each-way proposal in two invitation-only meetings with members of the Eagle Rock community. A meeting on March 16 was with individuals from groups that have been active in the debate over the BRT in Eagle Rock, including The Eagle Rock Association, the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council, the Eagle Rock Chamber of Commerce, Eagle Rock 411 and Eagle Rock Forward.

A meeting on March 26 was for local businesses. Owners in attendance included those from Peekaboo Playland, Arnott Kenpo Karate, Mathnasium and Super Copy. The Boulevard Sentinel also attended the March 26 meeting. 

How we got here, what’s at stake

In recent months, a one-car-lane-each-way proposal was developed and promoted by a group of activists and advocates for bike lanes, public transit and walkable neighborhoods, including local residents who are members of The Eagle Rock Association and past and present members of the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council. 

Entitled “Beautiful Boulevard” by its proponents, the proposal was created partly in response to Metro’s initial “proposed project” for a BRT route in Eagle Rock, presented to the public in September 2020. That proposed project retained the boulevard’s car lanes, parking and medians and added a dedicated BRT lane that doubled as a bike lane. Under the proposal, bicyclists would have priority in the lane, meaning that the bus would have to go around a cyclist. Bike lane advocates objected, saying a shared bus/bike lane would be dangerous, unpleasant and a nullification of victories they had won in the fight to establish bike lanes.

Bus rapid transit is coming to Eagle Rock, though the route it will take is still not nailed down.

Beautiful Boulevard addresses those objections: Essentially, a car lane each way is replaced by a dedicated BRT lane, leaving room on the boulevard for better bike lanes, on-street parking, landscaped medians and wider sidewalks.

At the meeting with local business owners on March 26, Metro Project Manager Scott Hartwell said that Metro’s initial route proposals for Colorado Boulevard — which retained two car lanes each way — were based on feedback from Eagle Rockers, dating to 2019, in which residents consistently told Metro to preserve the boulevard’s car lanes.

But, he said, in late 2020, Metro received so many letters of support for Beautiful Boulevard that the agency decided to revise its initial two-lane route proposals, adopting the one-car-lane-each-way feature and other aspects of Beautiful Boulevard. Metro calls its version of the one-car-lane-each-way proposal “refined F1.”

The letters of support for Beautiful Boulevard that Hartwell referred to were submitted during the period for public comment on Metro’s draft environmental impact report on the NoHo-Pas BRT. The organizers of Beautiful Boulevard have also collected some 500 signatures on a petition that calls on De León, Solis and the Metro Board of Directors to adopt the Beautiful Boulevard proposal.

However, the extent of community support for one lane each way on Colorado Boulevard is questionable.

For instance, the Beautiful Boulevard petition never mentions that the proposal would require eliminating a car lane each way on much of Colorado Boulevard. Rather, the petition highlights saving the medians, improving bike lanes, preserving parking and various other beauty and safety features. Similarly, the Beautiful Boulevard website lists 30 local businesses operating out of 28 locations as supporters of Beautiful Boulevard. But only 12 of those businesses are located on the stretch of Colorado Boulevard that would go down to one car lane. The rest are on Eagle Rock Boulevard or on parts of Colorado Boulevard that would retain two car lanes each way.

Of the handful of business owners who participated in the Metro meeting on March 26, one was in favor of one car lane each way, others were opposed or neutral. The gist of the support was that a lovelier boulevard would attract customers who would linger. The gist of the opposition was that the needs of customers — to drive to businesses and find parking — would be better met with two car lanes each way and more parking spaces.

Under Metro’s one-car-lane proposal, “congestion will increase substantially” at the intersection of Colorado Boulevard and Eagle Rock Boulevard, said a Metro consultant. | Schematic by Metro

Business owners who fear traffic jams on a one-lane boulevard had their fears confirmed. Brent Ogden, a Metro consultant who took questions at the March 26 meeting, said that “congestion will increase substantially” at the intersection of Colorado Boulevard and Eagle Rock Boulevard, as two lanes become one. Ogden also said that many drivers “will be forced onto the freeway” by crowded conditions on the boulevard, but even so, congestion at the center of town would worsen.

 As currently configured, Metro’s one-car-lane-each-way proposal would also cause traffic in the single lane to stop whenever a motorist wanted to parallel park, said Ogden. There are ways to mitigate the stoppage, he said, but they would involve cars moving into the bus lane or the bike lane. 

The politics

Ultimately, what Metro does in Eagle Rock will be decided not only (or even primarily) by the details, but by politics, because support of elected officials is key to approving any given Metro plan.

L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Solis has publicly urged Metro to study the Beautiful Boulevard proposal and to bring it before the Metro Board for consideration “if deemed feasible and within budget.”

Eagle Rock’s L.A. Unified School Board Member Jackie Goldberg has urged Metro to adopt the Beautiful Boulevard proposal in Eagle Rock on the ground that it prioritizes “the safety of LAUSD’s students, teachers, staff, and families.”

CD 14 City Councilmember De León has not taken a position in favor of any specific BRT route on Colorado Boulevard. However, in his public comment letter to Metro on December 28 he said the agency had failed up to that point to create an acceptable BRT plan for Eagle Rock, a stance that leaves the door open to supporting a new Metro proposal.

In announcing the public meeting on April 1, set for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Metro staff has said it is seeking feedback on its proposed NoHo-Pas BRT routes ahead of making a recommendation to the Metro Board in May 2021. Once the Board approves a staff recommendation, work will begin on a Final Environmental Impact Report, to be completed this summer.

To recap: Here are the details for the upcoming meeting:

Thursday, April 1, 5-7pm
Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82925097331
Phone: 877 853 5247 (Toll Free)
Access code: 829 2509 7331

This article was updated with additional info and links at 1:10 p.m. on March 31, 2021.

Correction: This article was modified to show that the one-car-lane-each-way would extend from Eagle Rock Boulevard to Linda Rosa Avenue under Metro’s proposal. An earlier version said that one-car-lane-each-way would extend from Eagle Rock Boulevard to Mount Helena Avenue, which is a shorter stretch than Metro is actually proposing.


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20 thoughts on “Metro to present proposal to reduce much of Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock to one car lane each way

    1. A single car lane is a crazy idea. Leave Colorado bkvd the way it is and drive the bus up the street. Metro staff and board members please just come drive up Colorado blvd you will see traffic and busses move quickly and smoothly at 30 mph, and stop at 1 or 2 stop lights. There is light traffic all through the day and night, no reason at all a bus would move any faster in its own lane, please stop designing snd do a traffic study or just drive it yourselves.
      No bus only lane, it will make very little difference in time through eagle rock. it would only cause a bottle neck for locals and busnesses through our shopping district. this is stupid. just drive the bus through as it is along with the other buses.

      1. I agree. What happened to using the freeway for through buses and Colorado Blvd. for local use.

    2. You are right, that 1 lane is not needed and they should replace it with another bus or bike lane. That is right, Susan.

  1. I would love to see Colorado Bl. look like that and with all the other street upgrades that this plan has. Stop crying about your knee-jerk stupid traffic issues–the plan clearly addresses that and there’s so much more to be gained.

  2. I am against a one way street on Colorado Blvd. It is not a good idea.

  3. It is hard to imagine that anyone could actually believe that the Boulevard would look anything like the pretty picture – one car, one bus traveling on an empty street with lush foliage in full bloom. This is exactly the picture Metro paints and it is just plain silly. It will be one traffic jam from ER Blvd. to Dahlia. What if we were to actually try and improve mass transit – get more, maybe smaller buses running more often, bring wait time down to 7 minutes per ride, make mass transit work rather than focus on spending the most amount of money possible? Metro has never considered any plan but the biggest. That is not always the answer.

    1. I think your business is listed as supporting the one car lane – did you know what you were signing? The so called Eagle rock beautiful boulevard are not local people and they have fooled a lot of our local businesses. Please be sure you contact de Leon and oppose the one car lane.

      1. Hi, Mona – I haven’t signed anything at any time in support of the plans to choke traffic on Colorado Blvd.. If you have seen Metro listing Arnott Kenpo Karate anywhere as a supporter of their plan please let me know. You can send me an email at karate@arnottkenpo.com. Thanks, I’d be much obliged.

        1. Mark- if you visit the Beautiful Boulevard’s Coalition of Support page you will see that Arnott Karate is not listed. The page only lists organizations and businesses who have signed on & provided their logo. https://www.eaglerockforward.org/coalition

          Mona- please do not spread misinformation. All of us who have worked on the Beautiful Boulevard plan are residents of Eagle Rock. We’re a diverse group of locals who work in education, TV, architecture, landscape design & other fields. Please stop with the conspiracies.

  4. Reduce Colorado down to one travel lane is insane and would result in gridlock. A Metro consultant who took questions at the March 26 meeting said that “congestion will increase substantially” at the intersection of Colorado Boulevard and Eagle Rock Boulevard, as two lanes become one. What would happen to the fire/emergency response time from firehouse #42 located at Maywood and Colorado just 2 blocks from the above mentioned intersection. What happened to Metro’s proposed project F2 which reflected two travel lanes and a shared bus/bike lane? A bike lane which now sits underutilized and empty most/if not all the time.

  5. Traffic on a two-lane Colorado Blvd. would be awful. How many people who want this option actually drive this stretch of Colorado on a regular basis? I’ve lived in ER since 1970 and I think this idea is insane! Most local drivers would opt to detour across town on either Hill Dr or Yosemite Dr. And when traffic on the 134 freeway is blocked or heavy it is funneled down to Colorado because Colorado is the only alternate route .

  6. All that will happen is lots more traffic on Hill Drive and Yosemite as folks avoid driving on congested Colorado Blvd. more speeding and accidents on connectors between Colorado and hill, such as ellenwood. The deceptive petition put out by outsiders – who don’t even tell you who they are – is designed to fool people. It doesn’t say it will result in one car lane each way for over a mile on Colorado. Those of us who actually live here will live with congestion, air pollution and increased speeding on our residential streets, it’s a damn shame.

  7. I have paid dues to TERA for decades. I am extremely disappointed that I was not given any notice about special invitation meetings for TERA with METRO. I WILL NEVER PAY DUES AGAIN TO THIS ORGANIZATION. Shame on you TERA for not inviting all paying members to participate in the dialogue with METRO. shame on you. You are not in any way a democratic organization. I am disgusted.

  8. Maybe its time, we as a community, defund TERA.

    TERA Board Members Michael MacDonald and Servin Martinez have been the biggest advocates for the BRT. Besides being on TERA, they also run their own advocacy groups that are pushing for Public Transportation.Servin Martinez works for Cal Trans and Michael MacDonald is an architect that runs BiketheVote, http://www.bikethevote.com

    Michael MacDonald has also starred in a Metro promotional video for bringing the BRT to Eagle Rock. http://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10157481118431763&id=200654486762.

    When the Beautiful Boulevard plan was submitted to Supervisor Solis, an Eagle Rock resident was interviewed for an article about this new plan and it just happened to be Michael MacDonald. (He is also a safe street advocate as well)
    https://la.streetsblog.org/2021/02/19/community-led-beautiful-boulevard-plan-puts-bus-rapid-transit-into-a-walkable-downtown-eagle-rock/

    A TERA board member starring in a promotional video for Metro, submitting an alternative plan to Metro, promoting this new plan and then he will vote to support Metro’s plan as a board member of TERA. Does that sound like corruption to you?

    We are paying membership dues, thinking TERA is protecting the interests of Eagle Rock, yet these board members are selling us out to Metro. It is time we hold TERA accountable and force them to reveal the minutes to all of their closed door meetings with Metro and any meeting with developers that have made proposals that are tied to the BRT . TERA is no longer representing the people of Eagle Rock and their corruption must be exposed.

  9. There seems to be no mention of the impending traffic backlog from the N/B 2 Fwy exit at Colorado extending east through Eagle Rock M-F afternoon peak hours.
    Traffic engineers are great at designing projects, but the decision to implement should not be theirs. Engineers tend to lack common sense.

  10. Every time a privileged LA Boomer (who should have left LA decades ago for some tract home hellhole in Texas) complains about not being able to drive their huge luxury SUV door to door to their favorite strip mall chain restaurant and park for free, and god forbid they have may have to take personal responsibility for their actions and the impacts those actions have on the city and world as a whole and maybe take transit or a bike some time… well, an angel in Islamic heaven gets its wings. And I think that’s beautiful. 🙂

  11. No. If the rapid bus line is not going straight thru downtown Glendale and Pasadena then why does it have to go thru Eagle Rock? This plan IS NOT in the best interests of the ER community. Stop now.

  12. I am against this “Refined F1” design that leaves us with one lane of general traffic each way. Whichever way you feel, make your opinions known to Metro, Councilman De Leon, and Supervisor Solis. WRITE THEM NOW. USE YOUR VOICE! This BRT design is going to the Metro Board in May for a vote. Metro’s NoHo to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Team email: nohopasbrt@metro.net
    De Leon: councilmember.kevindeleon@lacity.org
    Hilda Solis: firstdistrict@bos.lacounty.gov

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