Between Sherman Way and Vanowen, on the Van Nuys Boulevard, the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council is endorsing a 170-unit apartment complex planned in that area on the site of an auto-repair outfit on the neighborhood’s main drag, just a few blocks from a future transit station. This was discussed at a meeting, January 10th this year. With this, Van Nuys is on the verge of becoming an important transit hub for Los Angeles.
The wildly successful Orange Line already runs through the neighborhood, and voter-approved Measure M outlines two mega projects that are bound to fundamentally alter how people can traverse Van Nuys, along with the rest of the Valley and even Los Angeles. One of those projects is the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor, a high capacity transit line that would run between Sylmar and the current Van Nuys Orange Line station, the same spot where the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor project will begin its course to the south to Westwood (and later, LAX).
Because the Valley is finally going get the mass transit it deserves, Los Angeles city planners are drafting new transit-oriented neighborhood plans for several Valley neighborhoods. The plans will eventually guide dense development near high-frequency transit lines. For now, that means the Orange Line. Over the next year, transit-oriented plans will be drafted for areas around five Orange Line stations in North Hollywood, Van Nuys, Sepulveda, Reseda, and the Sherman Way station in Canoga Park. These plans will zero in on the areas within about a 15-minute walk of the selected transit stations, considered to be the sweet spot for dense and walkable city-spaces.
“People think you need all these lanes in traffic… well you do if you’re in a car,” says Claire Bowin, a senior city planner for the city of Los Angeles. “Hopefully our Valley streets are going to be more supportive of different uses. Hopefully, we’ll see protected bike lanes, streets with really great transit services, and trees to make it comfortable on hot days”.
The Valley won’t become a mini Mid-City area. It’s its own place,” says Claire Bowin, but it will become less suburban, especially when it comes to transportation”.
This is a no small task. Especially changing the landscape so that, within walking distance, people can get something to eat, buy a pair of socks, and get medical attention if they need it, says Adrin Nazarian.
We are tuned to see what awaits, however, there’s still the task of rebuilding the cityscape and educating residents in order to accommodate new styles of dense development.
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