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Old 08-06-2010, 03:10 PM
 
Location: LA
6,182 posts, read 11,608,640 times
Reputation: 2526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Some cautions based upon what has evolved with Sacramento's light rail. Yes, it can be a handy, environmentally friendly people mover. The down-side: street crossings can be very annoying if you're driving. Extending into Los Angeles proper can breed a lot of fare-jumping gang-bangers being brought to more affluent areas, like Santa Monica, to cause mischief. Two weeks after Sacramento opened the "south line" into the ghetto and barrios areas, the Downtown Plaza had it first shooting in its history. Not long after there was another shooting on the street nearby.

Ridership is usually reasonable during normal commuting hours for working people but before and after the rails can get uncomfortable, if not scary. Many homeless ride during operating hours to stay out of bad weather and/or to have someplace to sleep in relative peace.

Park and Ride light rail stations may be handy conveniences and money savers (no parking fees) but they can also be fraught with car break-ins and thefts.

Don't want to alarm but those were my experiences over 20 years in Sacramento. I hope they don't turn out to be yours.
those are good obersavtions, but let's remember that LA already has 4 other rail lines that go through both good and bad neighborhoods. i doubt that there will be much, if any, shenannigans due to the new line. remember that the same lines that go through the posh upper westside in new york also pass through harlem and the bronx.
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Old 08-06-2010, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Earth
11,944 posts, read 13,033,145 times
Reputation: 4053
Quote:
Originally Posted by K 22 View Post
I've been reading and catching up on the Expo construction. I agree with the Phase I opposition that it really shouldn't be street level. La Brea isn't - I don't understand why Crenshaw, Vermont and the USC stops had to be. Also, if it wasn't street level - there most likely would never be a station at Farmdale Avenue anyway. It might be just me - but if I'm planning a mass transit rail line - I keep it away from the street as much as possible.

Phase II to Santa Monica will definitely get delayed since it looks like the Cheviot Hills folks want absolutely nothing to do with Expo. Metro said 2015 but I'd add at least 2-3 years to that one.

Expo is needed but I don't think it's as needed as the Downtown Regional Connector or the Purple Line to Westwood or even the Sepulveda Pass Line which is being talked about.
The Cheviot Hills gang (let's call them what they are) have NO political allies (unlike the Miracle Mile and Fairfax folks in the '80s who got Waxman and Yaroslavsky to block the westward extension of the Red Line) and are generally considered quite disreputable, since their residential neighborhood being treated any different than similar residential neighborhoods in Mid City would violate the Environmental Justice Act.

The city councilman who represents that area now, Koretz, is very pro-rail, and Waxman himself is pro-rail now.

However, the westsiders in Rosendahl's district might try something to block it. Rosendahl doesn't seem as pro-rail to me as Koretz.
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Old 08-06-2010, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
787 posts, read 1,014,874 times
Reputation: 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Some cautions based upon what has evolved with Sacramento's light rail. Yes, it can be a handy, environmentally friendly people mover. The down-side: street crossings can be very annoying if you're driving. Extending into Los Angeles proper can breed a lot of fare-jumping gang-bangers being brought to more affluent areas, like Santa Monica, to cause mischief. Two weeks after Sacramento opened the "south line" into the ghetto and barrios areas, the Downtown Plaza had it first shooting in its history. Not long after there was another shooting on the street nearby.

Ridership is usually reasonable during normal commuting hours for working people but before and after the rails can get uncomfortable, if not scary. Many homeless ride during operating hours to stay out of bad weather and/or to have someplace to sleep in relative peace.

Park and Ride light rail stations may be handy conveniences and money savers (no parking fees) but they can also be fraught with car break-ins and thefts.

Don't want to alarm but those were my experiences over 20 years in Sacramento. I hope they don't turn out to be yours.
Yes, interesting to hear the Sacramento experience with rail. From an historical perspective, similar arguments about "those people" (read: gangs/riff-raff) using the rail line to go to the posh areas like Hancock Park were used in the 1980's to spook some HOA / Neighborhood groups. That argument along with trumped up fears about methane gas in the soil killed any attempt to EXTEND the red line under Wilshire Blvd to Santa Monica. Thanks to the so called Mr. "green" Henry Waxman caving to residents/voters in his district.

Of course, that view always IGNORED the whole "drive-by" shooting culture of LA gangs back in those days. And sure enough there was a shooting (in 1988 I think) in Westwood that helped empty out Westwood of toursists/locals and they scattered all the way to the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica which had just re-opened in about 1989. The shooters came by car.

Long story short: gang members have access to cars (at least the well funded ones go). Not to discount your concerns but we should NOT let gangs high-jack the region form needed public improvements.

Luckily (as other posters have stated) we have other lines currently in place which have a good track record. Let's hope it stays that way.
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Old 08-06-2010, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Pasadena
7,413 posts, read 3,212,917 times
Reputation: 1802
Quote:
Originally Posted by majoun View Post
The Cheviot Hills gang (let's call them what they are) have NO political allies (unlike the Miracle Mile and Fairfax folks in the '80s who got Waxman and Yaroslavsky to block the westward extension of the Red Line) and are generally considered quite disreputable, since their residential neighborhood being treated any different than similar residential neighborhoods in Mid City would violate the Environmental Justice Act.

The city councilman who represents that area now, Koretz, is very pro-rail, and Waxman himself is pro-rail now.

However, the westsiders in Rosendahl's district might try something to block it. Rosendahl doesn't seem as pro-rail to me as Koretz.
Admittedly, I don't know anything about Cheviot Hills and assume it is a relatively wealthy Westside neighborhood. But the video shows that the existing train tracks are secluded with lots of vegetation. I suppose the issue is where the train will cross streets.

The Gold Line runs right thru residential areas of Highland Pk and part of South Pasadena. I don't recall if there was an attempt to delay construction due to these kinds of concerns but I do know that the Gold Line just creeps along in much of Highland Park.
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Old 08-06-2010, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Hills & Hollers of the Aux Arcs
18,953 posts, read 15,719,792 times
Reputation: 16811
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal35 View Post
Luckily (as other posters have stated) we have other lines currently in place which have a good track record. Let's hope it stays that way.
For everyone's sake, I hope it stays that way too.
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Earth
11,944 posts, read 13,033,145 times
Reputation: 4053
Quote:
Originally Posted by californio sur View Post
Admittedly, I don't know anything about Cheviot Hills and assume it is a relatively wealthy Westside neighborhood.
"North Culver City that thinks its South Beverly Hills".

Your perception of Cheviot Hills today is accurate. It used to be a middle class neighborhood (similar to CC, MV, or Beverlywood), and it has a VERY large population of elderly Jews, many of whom used to work at the studios nearby. (Familiar story of Westside and Valley neighborhoods.) It's often lumped in together with neighboring Rancho Park. The RE bubble, like in many of the more "normal" westside neighborhoods (including where I grew up on the other side of the 405), changed the demographics, and brought in very monied (and more diverse) newcomers who previously would've lived in Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Santa Monica, etc. and looked down upon everything south of Olympic (i.e. 90064 and 90066). Familiar Westside story.

That area's represented on the City Council by Paul Koretz, who lives in the Fairfax District, and who's pro-rail. (That district was deliberately drawn up to contain the most Jewish areas in L.A., hence that's why it even reaches into Sherman Oaks as well as containing a large part of the westside east of the 405.) Congressman Waxman was very anti-rail back in the '80s when it came to the proposed westward extension of the Red Line. However, now he's pro-rail. The County Supervisor for that area is Mark Ridley-Thomas (just looked it up), and he's pro-rail.

Quote:
But the video shows that the existing train tracks are secluded with lots of vegetation. I suppose the issue is where the train will cross streets.
I think it's those people just not wanting any change, never mind that they didn't seem to mind the area getting all hoity toity. They think of their neighborhood as "isolated", never mind it's right next to the 10 and right near some of the westside's most congested intersections. From what a friend of mine who lives in Cheviot Hills told me, it's a loud and vocal minority that opposes the Expo Line.

More info on this: https://www.thetransitcoalition.us/l...viot/index.htm

As for Rosendahl's views on the Expo Line going through Rancho Park and West LA, he's pro-Expo Line. So's Yaroslavsky, who's the Supervisor for the rest of West LA. Again, those anti-Expo people have NO political allies. Unlike the Hancock Park/Miracle Mile/Fairfax people in the '80s, who had PLENTY of allies.
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Old 08-07-2010, 01:57 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
787 posts, read 1,014,874 times
Reputation: 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by californio sur View Post
Admittedly, I don't know anything about Cheviot Hills and assume it is a relatively wealthy Westside neighborhood. But the video shows that the existing train tracks are secluded with lots of vegetation. I suppose the issue is where the train will cross streets.

The Gold Line runs right thru residential areas of Highland Pk and part of South Pasadena. I don't recall if there was an attempt to delay construction due to these kinds of concerns but I do know that the Gold Line just creeps along in much of Highland Park.
Yes.. good point. I think that So. Pasadena residents have had their hands full OPPOSING the extension of the 710 Freeway to the 210 Freeway which has been a decades long battle. And it cuts through the HEART of their community. The Gold Line (as you note) skirts the edge of the city.

Highland Park was even less politically organized 10-15 years ago when the major planning for the Gold Line was happening.

A side note that I think is interesting:
My understanding is that the City of Beverly Hills has LONG supported the extension of the Subway down Wilshire Blvd through BH (going back to the 1980's when many neighbohroods to the east like Hancock Park was adamantly opposed). No doubt, the subway in BH cuts through commerical areas (not residential) and the tourist areas of Rodeo would benefit from the Red Line. Neverthless, it is quite a contrast...
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Old 08-07-2010, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Pasadena
7,413 posts, read 3,212,917 times
Reputation: 1802
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal35 View Post
Yes.. good point. I think that So. Pasadena residents have had their hands full OPPOSING the extension of the 710 Freeway to the 210 Freeway which has been a decades long battle. And it cuts through the HEART of their community. The Gold Line (as you note) skirts the edge of the city.

Highland Park was even less politically organized 10-15 years ago when the major planning for the Gold Line was happening.

A side note that I think is interesting:
My understanding is that the City of Beverly Hills has LONG supported the extension of the Subway down Wilshire Blvd through BH (going back to the 1980's when many neighbohroods to the east like Hancock Park was adamantly opposed). No doubt, the subway in BH cuts through commerical areas (not residential) and the tourist areas of Rodeo would benefit from the Red Line. Neverthless, it is quite a contrast...
I think, given the choice, that most residents would prefer that the trains be underground like the Red Line but building subways is extremely expensive and likely not feasible considering the pockets of gas in parts of the LA basin. If the extension of the Wilshire train continues underground than I think Beverly Hills would be perfectly happy. Subways are so much faster. Part of the new Gold Line extension in East LA is subway and it moves very fast but then it comes up to street level and crawls down Whittier Blvd no faster than regular auto traffic.

The 710 extension may finally be constructed but it also will need to be underground and I just can't imagine how the state can justify the huge expense just to satisfy South Pasadena.
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Old 08-07-2010, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
787 posts, read 1,014,874 times
Reputation: 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by californio sur View Post
I think, given the choice, that most residents would prefer that the trains be underground like the Red Line but building subways is extremely expensive and likely not feasible considering the pockets of gas in parts of the LA basin. If the extension of the Wilshire train continues underground than I think Beverly Hills would be perfectly happy. Subways are so much faster. Part of the new Gold Line extension in East LA is subway and it moves very fast but then it comes up to street level and crawls down Whittier Blvd no faster than regular auto traffic.
.
I knew a transportation engineer who was quite familiar with the Red Line as it was being built through Hollywood. He told me there is plenty of methane in the soil in Hollwyood (almost as much as in the Fairfax District).

Essentially, he said there are plenty of safety measures to make it work. This is significant because it was methane gas in the soil in the Fairfax District which was used as a cop out to NOT extend the subway down Wilshire.

You are certainly correct that additional safety measures due to methane in the soil adds costs but in a dense corridor like Wilshire Blvd it is certainly worth it to build underground for all the reasons you stated.

I do get concerned that the EXPO LINE (once complete) MIGHT cause some voters/public officials to drop their support of the Subway to the Sea down Wilshire to Santa Monica. In a nutshell, people might say, "Well gee we already have a line that goes from downtwon to Santa Monica. Why build another one?"

I hope I am VERY WRONG about that.
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