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Eyes on the Street: Extended Bus Lanes on Alvarado Street

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This article supported by Los Angeles Bicycle Attorney as part of a general sponsorship package. All opinions in the article are that of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of LABA. Click on the ad for more information.
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This week, construction crews added new peak-hour bus lanes on Alvarado Street from Sunset Boulevard to the 101 Freeway. The new busway is a joint project of the L.A. City Transportation Department (LADOT), Metro, and Caltrans District 7. Though Alvarado is a Los Angeles City surface street, it is owned by Caltrans (the state transportation department) because it had been the planned route of the canceled Beverly Hills Freeway.

Metro's NextGen Bus Study combined a couple of lines to make Alvarado a more prominent part of the bus network. Historically the Metro 2 bus continued on Sunset into downtown L.A. Just over a year ago, line 2 was combined with the former line 200 bus, so the 2 now runs on Sunset and Alvarado (continuing south on Hoover Street to USC and Exposition Park).

These new Alvarado bus lanes are the second and, for now, final phase of planned bus lanes there; the first phase opened in July 2021. The initial segment was about 1.2 mile from 7th Street to just south of the 101 Freeway. The full length of the Alvarado bus-only lanes is now about 1.6 mile, though there are short gaps at the 101 Freeway.

The new bus lanes are nearly complete. As of Saturday morning, bus lane street lettering and signage appeared complete, but some final thermoplastic lane striping was still pending.

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New peak-hour bus-only lane on Alvarado Street, just south of Sunset Boulevard
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The Alvarado bus lanes operate northbound 3-7 p.m. and southbound 7-10 a.m.
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Bus Lane lettering and signage appear complete. As of Saturday morning, some of the lines between travel lanes were still marked with temporary paint, awaiting final thermoplastic paint.
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The northbound Alvarado bus lane (pictured) ends at Montrose Street. This is a block south of Sunset, where Metro buses leave the curb lane and turn left onto Sunset Boulevard. (The southbound bus lane, not pictured, does go all the way to Sunset Boulevard.)
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