San Fernando Valley Council of Governments

A Joint Powers Authority

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Transportation Priorities

January 31, 2020 demo

The following are the 2020 Transportation Priorities for the SFVCOG adopted on January 16, 2020. Each item listed supports regional connectivity and/or mobility. This list was created in 2019 with the support the the SFVCOG Transportation Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and is to be reviewed annually.

Bus

The SFVCOG is committed to increased mobility options for the purpose of increasing safety and convenience and reducing roadway congestion. The following are the priorities for 2020 that would work towards achieving that:

1. Commuter Rail Improvements

25% of 2018 Mobility Workshop attendees indicated improved Metrolink & LOSSAN service is a regional priority. A common theme was increased service. The SFVCOG recognizes that frequency and reliability are critical to ensuring Metrolink’s & LOSSAN’s success in providing reliable rail transit in the region.  The Ventura and Antelope Valley Lines currently provide the broadest coverage of rail transportation serving the entire SFVCOG region.

In order for this system to provide frequent, reliable transportation, the SFVCOG supports capital and operational improvements to Metrolink & LOSSAN to provide train service in both directions on weekdays every 15 minutes between SFVCOG stations and LA Union Station during peak periods and throughout the day, and trains every 30 minutes in both directions during the evening (7pm – Midnight) and on weekends from 6am to 12midnight (which aligns with the Metrolink SCORE plan).

This service frequency would result in a combined headway of about 7 minutes during peak periods and 15 minutes during evening periods on the trunk line where both the Ventura and Antelope Valley lines run between LA Union Station and Downtown Burbank. With Hollywood Burbank Airport stations now located on both lines, the same combined headway would apply to connections between LA Union Station and Hollywood Burbank Airport.  Reaching these headways in both directions would likely require double-tracking where single-track operation currently exists. This headway goal is a starting point; reducing headways beyond these benchmarks could result in service more similar to local bus and rail, which has been shown to dramatically increase utility and resultant ridership of commuter rail lines in other cities around the world. Additionally, providing some owl service (late night and early morning, resulting in 24-hour operation), could be of value.

In an effort to ensure resources are secured to improve rail service on the entire Metrolink – Antelope Valley Line (AVL), the SFVCOG supports investment opportunities in all segments of the AVL, equally. Furthermore, The SFVCOG recognizes and supports Metro’s “Los Angeles – Glendale – Burbank Feasibility Study” currently underway as a starting point to assess potential improvements to “provide more frequent and consistent level of service throughout the day along the [Burbank – Glendale – Union Station] Corridor”. Additionally, the SFVCOG supports Metro’s recently completed AVL Study and actions to implement rail and service improvements included in the study to increase roundtrip frequency between Union Station and the North County. Further, the SFVCOG recognizes and supports Metro’s “LinkUS Union Station Run-Through Tracks” project as a critical improvement to facilitate increased train service by not requiring trains to push/pull in and out of Union Station.

2. Bicycle Network Improvements

Providing a network of separated bicycle lanes and paths to facilitate bicycling can improve access to transit, improve health, and reduce vehicle miles traveled. The SFVCOG supports efforts to build a backbone network of bicycle facilities across the region with a minimum of one mile spacing between parallel facilities. As part of this network build-out, gaps should be closed between existing separated bicycle lanes/paths and those facilities and key destinations such as transit hubs, retail, commercial, and residential activity centers that are a short distance away. Furthermore, the SFVCOG supports the completion of the Measure M-funded LA River Bike Path Gap ($60M) and San Fernando Bike Master Plan ($5M), which support this goal, as well as bike paths along the LA River tributaries (e.g. Pacoima Wash). In addition to these projects, the SFVCOG prioritizes projects that close gaps called out by Metro in their Active Transportation Strategic Plan.

3. First/Last Mile Improvements

Even public transportation networks with good regional coverage rarely provide most users with door-to-door service between their points of origin and destination. Typically, users must travel up to a mile from their point of origin to access a transit line and then the same distance from where they disembark a transit line to their destination. In the SFVCOG region, those “first/last mile” connections are often only possible on foot, via ride share, or via micro-mobility (bike share, scooter share) with a lack of adequate road infrastructure to support micro-mobility devices. The SFVCOG supports increasing the choices made available to users with mobility hubs at major transit stations (mobility hubs include a wide range of available options to complete journeys such as car share, micro-mobility, etc.) and improvements to road infrastructure along key connections between transit stations and stops and nearby trip origin and destination points. Such roadway infrastructure should include dedicated low-stress bicycle facilities (protected bike lanes, neighborhood greenways) and clean, well-maintained, well-lit sidewalks for people walking. Wayfinding signage is also key to guide people to key locations. First and last mile improvements should be focused at existing transit stations along the Red Line, Orange Line, and Metrolink, as well as future planned stations along the Measure M-funded lines: ESFV, Sepulveda, North Valley BRT, and NoHo-Pasadena BRT.

4. A Smarter Transportation System

The world of intelligent transportation technology continues to grow at a rapid pace. The SFVCOG supports the increased use and development of technologies to create a safer, more reliable, more efficient, less congested, and more pleasant transportation experience. Technologies include:

A. Preparation of infrastructure to support autonomous vehicle technology including communication systems between AV’s and the roadway network

B. Real-time user information including bus stop arrival times, consolidated available mobility options near a user’s location, traffic and road conditions, all available through mobile applications and stationary displays

C. Parking guidance, information, and payment systems linked to parking infrastructure including on- and off-street facilities

D. Sensing technologies for detection including expansion and use of smarter detection for non-motor vehicles (e.g. passive pedestrian detection with walk extension for people on foot who travel more slowly)

5. Increased Transit Options and Operations

Since 2010, the SFVCOG has taken a number of positions and created transportation priority lists. In this 2019 Priority List update, previously taken positions remain in place. It is important to reaffirm the Board’s support for these priorities in this updated list, while extending support for important improvements to the region’s transit operations. Previous priorities include the following:

A. Measure M-Funded Transit Projects

      1. Sepulveda Pass Corridor
      2. East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor as at grade Light Rail Transit (LRT) with 14 stops
      3. NoHo to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
      4. North Valley BRT
      5. Orange Line Upgrades (speed and crossings)
      6. Orange Line Conversion from BRT to LRT

B. Additional Support for Tier 2 Transit operators
Taken together, BurbankBus, Glendale Beeline, LADOT Dash, and Pasadena Transit carry nearly 5 million rides per year, yet these agencies receive no state or federal transit operations funding through Metro, and instead rely solely on local funding to operate.  Recognizing the importance that these Tier 2 operators play in the SFVCOG region’s mobility, the SFVCOG will advocate for increased funding from Metro to support these “Tier 2 Eligible Operators” including support for transit operations as well as transit vehicle capital funds.

C. 15-Minute Bus Network
The SFVCOG region relies on bus transit to service most corridors with the region, but many corridors lack frequent service.  High frequency is critical to ensuring bus transit meets the mobility needs of SFVCOG region residents and employees. The SFVCOG will advocate for bus headways no greater than 15 minutes on its major arterial corridors from 6am until 11pm. The SFVCOG will engage with Metro as part of its NextGen Bus Study to ensure that the SFVCOG region receives necessary transit operations resources to support this service standard.

D. Support permanent, high-capacity transit connections to Hollywood Burbank Airport from the NoHo Transit Center
As part of the Interstate 5 HOV North / Empire Interchange Project, Metro provided four years of funding for a pilot project to provide all-day BurbankBus service between the North Hollywood Red Line Station and the Hollywood Burbank Airport. This funding expires when the I-5 Project is complete in 2019.  Given the importance of this connection, the SFVCOG will advocate for funding to continue this important connection after 2019 and to ensure that the line is integrated into Metro’s maps, planning, outreach, and communications to advertise this connection to the public. Further, service should be extended to include weekend service, as well.