Take Back the Boulevard has moved one step closer toward securing funding to continue making Colorado Boulevard all that it can be for our community. On December 16, the Los Angeles City Council directed the Department of Transportation to prepare and submit a multi-million dollar application under Metro’s Call for Projects program.
TBTB efforts kicked off in March, 2011. Between then and now, numerous community meetings were conducted, the results of which were documented in the Colorado Boulevard Vision Plan. This plan can be viewed at http://www.tera90041.org/colorado_blvd_vision_plan.aspx.
Many of the improvements detailed in the Vision Plan have been implemented, but there are still numerous improvements that remain outstanding. Outstanding goals are located primarily but not exclusively along the western segment (Eagle Rock Boulevard to Sierra Villa). Goals for Phase II of TBTB include the following:
- New medians between Eagle Rock Boulevard and Sierra Villa.
- Turn pockets in new and existing medians.
- Additional crosswalks and pedestrian refuge areas.
- Bump outs/curb extensions, especially in the areas of bus stops.
- Better pedestrian lighting.
- Enhanced bus stop amenities (furniture, shade, trash cans, etc.).
- “Way finding” signage that may include a “Welcome to Eagle Rock” monument.
Acquiring funding to address outstanding Boulevard improvements is TBTB’s primary goal at this time. Once every two years, there is an opportunity to apply for funding through a program known as the “Metro Call for Projects.” Under this program, Metro will allocate as much as $200 million in discretionary federal, state and local transportation funds to improve all modes of surface transportation. Recently, the TBTB Team, in cooperation with the Office of Councilmember José Huizar, nominated this project for inclusion among the City’s funding applications. Applications from across the City were evaluated by an interdisciplinary team including representatives of the Mayor, the City Council, LADOT, Public Works, and other City departments and agencies. ….. Based upon the scoring criteria, the TBTB application scored very well. The city task force stated that the Colorado Boulevard Vision Plan, developed in the initial phase of TBTB, was a crucial element in the strong scoring of the application. Especially important was that the document depicted extensive community outreach and feedback in developing the overall vision for the Boulevard.
The City will submit the TBTB application to Metro at the end of January 2015.
From February to August Metro will follow a process for all submissions that includes ranking and scoring the requests. Metro’s Technical Advisory Committee and the Metro Board of Directors review the strongest applications. In September, the Metro Board finalizes the funding to be approved and forwards formal funding requests to the appropriate state and regional transportation funding agencies. Should TBTB’s request for $7.5 million dollars prevail and be approved, funding will not be available until 2020.
Additional opportunities for funding applications are available in the spring of 2015. Especially promising may be the “ATP” (Active Transportation Program) for which the TBTB goals would be appropriate. The TBTB team will continue to seek funding opportunities wherever they may be found. Once funding is acquired, additional community meetings will be held to finalize the changes to the Boulevard at the most detailed level. Stay tuned as TBTB moves forward in efforts to optimize the contributions that our Main Street, Colorado Boulevard, makes to the community. Periodic updates to the Initiative may be found at TakeBacktheBlvd.org.