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Old 03-09-2012, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 12,563,975 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
Does LA really need subway lines going all over the city? Wouldn't most residents in the outer parts of the city be totally against this? I know LA has a pretty good infrastructure but having subway lines go all through the city similarly to how subway lines run in New York City doesn't really make a lot if sense. I think some type of elevated heavy rail lines would be a much better option for the city than building more underground subway lines which would be much more costly and timely to build.
Generally I think people would rather have a subway than anything at-grade or elevated (as seen by the lawsuits that have occurred in the past).

The long-term plans (and I do mean very long term) are to have three heavy rail subway lines.
1. The existing Red Line as is.
2. An extended Purple Line the the VA Hospital near the 405. This is in the planning stages and should break ground in the near future.
3. A subway down Vermont Ave through South LA. This is the longest off and has no funding yet; it would have to be funded through a Measure R extension. It would probably be elevated rail through the southern portion, and wouldn't have much opposition as it would run through a fairly low-income neighborhoods.

That is probably the extent of the heavy rail in LA, at least for the foreseeable future. The rest would probably end up being light rail, which works well for the 10-20k ppsm areas it would serve.

There would also be a new subway tunnel running through downtown connecting the Gold, Blue and Expo lines to each other and adding a couple new stations, but this would be light rail.
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 12,563,975 times
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Looks like the MTA is seeing more riders now that gas has started to go through the roof:

MTA Ridership Soars As Gas Prices Expected To Test Record High « CBS Los Angeles

This is a very good thing - I think that all it takes is a ride or two to realize that LA has a great mass transit system; one of the biggest reasons LA has a lackluster ridership share that is relatively unknown to a great deal of Angelenos.

The Orange and Silver lines ridership is up double digits in the last few weeks.
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:36 PM
 
14,752 posts, read 27,518,778 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
2. An extended Purple Line the the VA Hospital near the 405. This is in the planning stages and should break ground in the near future.
I thought this wasn't going to happen, between the tunneling in a high methane area (near the tarpits) and the NIMBY attitude in Beverly Hills. Has that changed?
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:06 AM
 
46 posts, read 159,099 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
I thought this wasn't going to happen, between the tunneling in a high methane area (near the tarpits) and the NIMBY attitude in Beverly Hills. Has that changed?
The subway ban was overturned. NIMBYS in Beverly Hills are still a problem, but their influence is eroding. People are tired of driving the 10 freeway and just want the f-ing subway already.

BH's issue is with a tunnel that goes under their precious high school. Even though Metro will be using tunneling machines that will bore under the school with no disturbance to the surface and the finished tunnel will be so deep that vibrations won't be noticeable, BH school officials are freaking out. All sorts of irrational reasons have been cited– it will be a danger to kids, it will get in the way of some massive underground parking lot, etc. Instead, BH wants the line moved to Santa Monica Boulevard as it heads west, but that mucks up the Century City station. Instead of the station being in the heart of CC, the Beverly Hills proposal would put it next to a giant golf course. Great place for a subway stop eh?
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:07 AM
 
237 posts, read 559,308 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SalParadise View Post
Yes, LA blew it. But it should NOT have been 100% subway. LA County is too spread out for that. Yet, we do have enough density for a few more underground / heavy rail lines.

Mistake No. 1 was not building the Wilshire Blvd subway (now called the subway to the sea) in the 1990's as originally planned. Thank you Henry Waxman and Zev Yarovslavsky for F-ing that up big time.

Mistake No. 2 - Not linking the Green Line directly into LAX AND directly to downtown LA. Basically the Green Line should have never been built to Norwalk and should have followed the blue line path into downtown LA with one stop at USC.

Mistake No. 3 - The Gold Line from Pasadena to Downtown LA was built on the cheap with too few grade separations. The result is the slow ride you rightly complain about.

Luckily, mistake No. 1 can be corrected but at a much higher cost now....
You are spot on and I love your mistakes list. You may already know the history but for the benefit of others:

Mistake #1: You named the villains. This was due to the spontaneous explosion at Ross (Dress for Less) store near Fairfax and W. 3rd Street. At that time the subway was to turn NORTH from Wiltshire to run under Fairfax with a station at W. 3rd. The plan was for CBS (with other investors) to demolish the Farmer's Market and build two tall skyscrapers at that site, a project more fitting downtown, not Fairfax district. The point is that methane exists in just about EVERY spot throughout the entire LA metro area. It was a CRIME what Waxman did, then a further bullet to the head from Zev after the Hollywood blvd. collapse. Also, keep in mind that a lot of people/citizens were AGAINST the subway and thought it was a boondoggle and the snotty, affluent of the Westside didn't want rail. My, how times have CHANGED. Now those same critics can't wait for subway to reach the west-side. Anti-subway, and even anti-rail of ANY sort was VERY high back in the 1980's and 1990's, sot it was easy to stop-up rail projects in those days.

Mistake #2: The Green line exists ONLY because of the lawsuit filed against the 105 (Century Freeway--since officially renamed Glenn M. Anderson Fwy--but we locals still often refer to it as "Century" or just "105") back in the 1960's. YES! It really was delayed for nearly 25 years in court. There were concessions made by Caltrans that allowed the freeway to be built and NOT face any further litigation. Some of then were the following:

A. a mostly "low-impact" design in the eastern section that resulted in the freeway being built BELOW grade in a trench in an effort to save more homes and have the least negative impact on those communities. This decision also resulted in that portion of the freeway to start SINKING because of the areas FLAT geography that has a very high water table due to all of LA being ancient flood plain. It cost nearly a quarter billion US Fed $$$ to fix it.

B. Caltrans agreed to limit the 105 to only 6 lanes (three in each direction) to mitigate traffic congestion in the area. I forget if Caltrans wanted 5 or 6 in each direction.

C. The activists behind the lawsuit DEMANDED some sort of public mass transit be a part of the 105. Caltrans agreed to ALLOW that, but left what mode of transit up to the then predecessor transit agencies SCRTD (along with the LACTC). Yes, a bus mode was considered (like the El Monte Busway) and was actually preferred by a lot of people, but it was RAIL that was selected. In other words, there was NO real plan for a Green Line. It was just that a transit option of some sort was REQUIRED by the court settlement. This is why the Green line is the worst "integrated" of all the lines. It fell into our laps, so to speak. Further, the Green Line was designed with the Cold War still in high gear, and there was, as there always is, LIMITED funds, so they had to choose build the line into LAX or build it to serve the major defense contractors who were employing LEGIONS of people, many of whom lived along the Green line in the eastern suburbs of Lakewood, Downey and Norwalk, people who would use the line every weekday to commute to and from work. It was a wise decision at the time, to serve the hordes of DAILY commuters to the defense contractors sites until the Berlin Wall fell and so did the projected riders to those former jobs in the southbay. They did build a little "tail" towards LAX, as they expected to build that branch next, but the economy of the 1990's tanked badly. In fact, the Green Line was to have been a completely driver-less, automated rail line, the first in the country for its distance and speed (close to 70 MPH). But that is another LONG story.

Mistake #3: The Gold was built on the cheap. However that was because the MTA had to kill the project for lack of $$ during the 1990's recession. The MTA had planned to grade separate in Highland Park and also had the Gold Line (then referred to as Blue Line) turn NORTH from Del Mar station onto Green Street with Green Street being a Transit Mall (no private autos allowed) for the rail line and all buses, and it would have DIRECTLY served Pasadena City College. But, when the MTA dropped the line, it was picked up by San Gabriel politicians and interests by creating the "Blue Line Construction Authority." They wanted the line very badly. They took the MTA's plans and immediatly started whittling away ANY thing that would CUT the COST of construction (remember no mountains of $$ from the go go 1980's anymore). All of the inefficiencies you cited were the result, especially cost-cutting at grade street running in Highland Park. Also, the BLCA changed the route to have the line continue after Del Mar into the median of the 210 because the ROW was already there, meaning it was CHEAPER, as well as avoiding costly and time delaying lawsuits from Green Street merchants were rabidly against the LRT rolling along Green Street "ruining" their businesse. Now we have a line that drops us off BLOCKS from the important intersections of downtown Pasadena and does NOT directly serve PCC but unattractively does so many blocks away with stupid bus or shuttle service. I know many folks who would LIKE to take the Gold Line to PCC but refuse to endure going to Allen Ave. and making way to PCC from there. The short drive in the car is preferred to a horrible mass transit service to such a busy and key destination as PCC.

I would add that the original route serving Wilshire Blvd. and the Fairfax district was also planed as an elevated line, then later changed to subway. Also, when the Waxman legislation went into effect, the route was changed to turn NORTH at Vermont, but it was also planned as an elevated line. This would have required the demolition of at least one if not TWO hospitals near the intersection of Vermont & Sunset so that the elevated structure could be built allow the train to turn WEST along Sunset. That was NOT popular. Further the TV, radio, and other entertainment production facilities along Sunset were vehemently AGAINST the line rolling along Sunset elevated believe the noise and vibrations would RUIN their business. Later, when it was announced that the SCRDT could build the line as an ALL subway segment (downtown segment was always to be subway), the production houses and broadcast stations were STILL against the subway under Sunset because they believed the vibrations would travel from under the ground into their studios and RUIN there business, and they were prepared to file suit to stop the line from running along Sunset. So, the SCRTD did the only sensible thing: changed the route to proceed under Hollywood Blvd.

And that's why we have the Red Line we have.

Not many people really know why we have the mass transit we do today. It is easy to say "they blew it," but the alternative was NO GOLD LINE at all. Also, the Gold Line East-side extension was a consolation for the cancellation of the subway serving East LA under Whittier Blvd. because of the 1990's economic downturn.

Finally, Subway was NOT popular among the residents/citizens decades ago because of the high cost and fear of the ugly days of the NYC Subway, especially among transplanted easterners. However, that has changed almost 180 degrees as subway is preferred by most in dense areas because of the low impact it has on the neighborhoods above as we have all grown up with the countless Blue Line vs. car crashes over the decades. Citizens now see LRT in dense areas as dangerous and negatively impacting their neighborhoods and now prefer subway. However, most people do support LRT in less dense areas such as the suburbs where rail lines can be built less expensively and sooner than subway, and even bus service like the Orange Line where it makes sense. In other words, the citizens have come to support a "mutlti-modal" mass transit system for LA County: expensive subway where "necessary," less expensive LRT where it can be done and run efficiently, and innovative bus service for lower ridership areas.

Last edited by HarryKerry; 03-18-2012 at 01:38 AM..
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:57 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
1,045 posts, read 1,542,473 times
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Great post Harry....as usual you provide a great historical backdrop. I knew SOME of that history but certainly nowhere near the detail you do.

Good point about the anti-rail feeling 30 years ago. NYC was still seen as the apple in decay with crime and the Bernard Goetz subway shooting still pulsating in the culture. In other words, fear of the "other" and the criminal element it would supposedly bring in. Nobody wanted to import that to LA...even if that was far fetched.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:34 PM
 
14,752 posts, read 27,518,778 times
Reputation: 8732
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarkatmu View Post
The subway ban was overturned. NIMBYS in Beverly Hills are still a problem, but their influence is eroding. People are tired of driving the 10 freeway and just want the f-ing subway already.

BH's issue is with a tunnel that goes under their precious high school. Even though Metro will be using tunneling machines that will bore under the school with no disturbance to the surface and the finished tunnel will be so deep that vibrations won't be noticeable, BH school officials are freaking out. All sorts of irrational reasons have been cited– it will be a danger to kids, it will get in the way of some massive underground parking lot, etc. Instead, BH wants the line moved to Santa Monica Boulevard as it heads west, but that mucks up the Century City station. Instead of the station being in the heart of CC, the Beverly Hills proposal would put it next to a giant golf course. Great place for a subway stop eh?
On a map that I saw, granted it's been a while, there was a stop at Wilshire and Beverly Drive. Then, there weren't any stops until Westwood. You mean that golf course to the west of the Beverly Hilton, before Westwood starts? Crazy.
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:27 PM
 
46 posts, read 159,099 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
On a map that I saw, granted it's been a while, there was a stop at Wilshire and Beverly Drive. Then, there weren't any stops until Westwood. You mean that golf course to the west of the Beverly Hilton, before Westwood starts? Crazy.
Yeah, there would be a stop at Beverly/Wilshire and the next stop would be in Century City either at Santa Monica/Ave of the Stars or Constellation/Ave of the Stars. The Santa Monica flavor is next to that golf course. Here's the latest map:

http://www.metro.net/projects_studie...lternative.pdf

Prior to the version in the map, there was a spur that branched off Wilshire, stopped at Beverly Center, WeHo and connected with the Red Line at Hollywood/Highland but it was eliminated due to low cost/benefit. Long term, Metro wants to expand the Crenshaw line up farifax and tie it in with the Hollywood/Highland Red line, but that's unfunded. More importantly, Meto wants to finish the subway to Santa Monica, but that's also unfunded.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Eastchester, Bronx, NY
1,085 posts, read 1,902,717 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarkatmu View Post
Yeah, there would be a stop at Beverly/Wilshire and the next stop would be in Century City either at Santa Monica/Ave of the Stars or Constellation/Ave of the Stars. The Santa Monica flavor is next to that golf course. Here's the latest map:

http://www.metro.net/projects_studie...lternative.pdf

Prior to the version in the map, there was a spur that branched off Wilshire, stopped at Beverly Center, WeHo and connected with the Red Line at Hollywood/Highland but it was eliminated due to low cost/benefit. Long term, Metro wants to expand the Crenshaw line up farifax and tie it in with the Hollywood/Highland Red line, but that's unfunded. More importantly, Meto wants to finish the subway to Santa Monica, but that's also unfunded.
Actually, from what I've seen, the Crenshaw line north of Expo is still a toss-up between La Brea, Fairfax and San Vicente. The San Vicente route would effectively replace that West Hollywood spur that was binned and the La Brea one would be the fastest and least expensive to build.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
5,798 posts, read 5,237,191 times
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Another rousing recommendation and a big for HarryKerry's post.

However, there was an article in LA Weekly within the past 2-3 months regarding the CC stop issue; IIRC, the original plan was for that stop next to the golf course as previously mentioned, which is indeed asinine, but par for the course (sorry!) for the MTA and/or SCRTD in all of their reincarnations.

The 'new' plan, backed by Mayor Villaraigosa and his deep-pocketed developer buddies, would be to place a stop in CC near the intersection of AOTS & Constellation Ave., and that would entail building a tunnel under BHHS, which as previously mentioned, has sent the BH citizenry and their powers-that-be into panic mode, and major bouts of hyperventilation.

Our late Mayor Tom Bradley made many trips to Toronto to check out their world-class subway system, which has won all sorts of international
awards for design and efficiency; if it's not the best such system in North America (apologies to the folks in Montreal & SF), it's pretty damned close.

Their standout system convinced our Mayor that LA could have an equally world-class subway sytem serving as the linchpin for a public transit system that everybody would use; I do recall reading that Toronto's transit system was so well thought out and covered the city so thoroughly that nobody living within the city limits would be more than three blocks from a city bus line.

Toronto's subway cars and buses all had devices in them which allowed the folks at their command center to know where every single bus and other public transit vehicle were at any hour of the day or night; that thought never occurred to those who designed LAs subway, not to mention the buses and light-rail systems.
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