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Metro Planning Committee OKs Light Rail Recommendation For Van Nuys Corridor

10:21 AM PDT on June 21, 2018

Today Metro’s planning committee approved a preferred alternative that would run light rail in the middle of Van Nuys Boulevard. Rendering via Metro

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This afternoon, the Metro board Planning and Programming Committee approved the staff recommendation for light rail for the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor project.

The recommended alternative is a 9.2-mile, 14-station light rail line that would run at grade in the middle of Van Nuys Boulevard and in the rail right-of-way along San Fernando Road. The southern terminus would be at the Metro Orange Line Van Nuys Station. The northern terminus would be at the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink station.

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An earlier staff-recommended light rail alternative included a 2.5-mile subway tunnel at the southern end of the line. The approved recommendation modified that, eliminating the tunnel and running the entire line at grade.

Public comment was uniformly in support of the light rail recommendation, including supportive testimony from numerous organizations including representatives from the Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA), the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments, Sierra Club, the city of San Fernando, Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic (FAST), and L.A. City Councilmembers Monica Rodriguez and Nury Martinez.

The recommended plan resolves an early controversy that saw business owners opposing one of the sites proposed for the line's maintenance yard. Option A would have been located at the intersection of Van Nuys Boulevard and the Orange Line, but the approved staff recommendation is option B, which locates the future maintenance yard at Van Nuys Boulevard and Keswick Street, just southwest of the Van Nuys Metrolink Station.

If approved by the full board next week, environmental studies would get underway this year. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2021, with the line opening in 2027.

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