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Old 03-05-2012, 07:56 PM
 
14,752 posts, read 27,525,279 times
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Do you think LA could have, and should have, gone all subway or, in places, elevated tracks with dedicated heavy-rail lines (like BART in the Bay Area), or did they blow it? I think they blew it.

I think a world-class city, and my hometown, needed a more world-class transit system, some of which could have replaced Metrolink and sharing train tracks. Aside from the Red Line (yay), I once took the Gold Line from Pasadena and it "crawls" through some neighborhoods.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:02 PM
 
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We associate subways with congestion and overpopulation. I'd rather the city had stayed relatively uncongested and not overpopulated. To start with, our corrupt/inept politicians could have made it more difficult to overbuild. Now we're stuck with too many people living on top of each other, with mobility on our roads reduced to 1/50th of what it was just 30 years ago.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
1,045 posts, read 1,542,961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
Do you think LA could have, and should have, gone all subway or, in places, elevated tracks with dedicated heavy-rail lines (like BART in the Bay Area), or did they blow it? I think they blew it.

I think a world-class city, and my hometown, needed a more world-class transit system, some of which could have replaced Metrolink and sharing train tracks. Aside from the Red Line (yay), I once took the Gold Line from Pasadena and it "crawls" through some neighborhoods.
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....
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:55 PM
 
14,752 posts, read 27,525,279 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....
Good observations. I think the Gold could have gone underground. I think the Red could have been extended across the SFV under Ventura. And I think there should have been a beltline subway or elevated from the base of the Valley around the 405 arc in LA and the South Bay.

I was always doubtful that there would be a subway under Wilshire through BH and all the expensive high-rise residences in Westwood.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
1,045 posts, read 1,542,961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
Good observations. I think the Gold could have gone underground. I think the Red could have been extended across the SFV under Ventura. And I think there should have been a beltline subway or elevated from the base of the Valley around the 405 arc in LA and the South Bay.

.
Gold Line: Yes, it probably should have been underground in certain segments at least.

Red Line in the San Fernando Valley: Yes, good point. I forgot about that. The required transfer at the Orange Line (busway) is better than nothing but one line without any breaks would have been MUCH better.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 12,567,366 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....
Mistake number two will be corrected as well - one priority measure R project is a Green line connection to LAX, whether light rail (unlikely), BRT (probably) or people mover. Not perfect but a decent connection.

For what its worth I take the Union Station express bus for 7 bucks. Can't beat that.
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:19 AM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 11,133,615 times
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Light rail really sucks compared to a proper subway line, especially if there are grade crossings, but it's so much cheaper to build that local governments are almost always going to go for it. There's just no money or political willpower to do big projects anymore.

But I do like that LA Metro is hard at work at still actively building new lines, someone is doing a good job of getting funding for all these projects. LA came really late to the game in terms of building a good transit system but at least they have a blank slate in many ways. It's nice that the Gold Line is still new and shiny and pleasant to ride, and the Red Line is really pretty cool and useful. I just moved to the LA area from the Bay Area and it's nice to be able to ride on new transit lines where the seats aren't all disgusting and smelly and the trains run pretty reliably, unlike BART and Muni. Plus the Bay Area never does anything new with transit, just like LA it takes forever to get anything done and there's already enough transit lines that I think they say "ok it's good enough," even though there's sooo much new transit stuff the Bay Area needs, like a train line on Geary or a train to Marin or whatever.

But LA Metro needs more lines, especially more subway lines, and people need to get to useful places--too many Metro train stops and lines seem to be in the middle of nowhere or somewhere inconvenient or uninteresting. And people need to be able to get from A to B quickly, the red line is pretty good for this. The blue line does an ok job considering it goes 30 miles in an hour (Muni Metro in SF takes 45 minutes to go 7 miles if you're lucky) but it needs to be faster.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mayorhaggar View Post
or a train to Marin or whatever.
It's the last thing Marin WANTS, from what I hear. LOL.
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 12,567,366 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorhaggar View Post
But LA Metro needs more lines, especially more subway lines, and people need to get to useful places--too many Metro train stops and lines seem to be in the middle of nowhere or somewhere inconvenient or uninteresting. And people need to be able to get from A to B quickly, the red line is pretty good for this. The blue line does an ok job considering it goes 30 miles in an hour (Muni Metro in SF takes 45 minutes to go 7 miles if you're lucky) but it needs to be faster.
Other than the Green Line, which was built along with the 105, most of the Metro stops are in well-planned areas and useful areas. I posted an article on another thread of a study that determined LA's Red Line subway line is the "most walkable" in the nation, according to Walkscore. (This obviously is limited because it doesn't take into account the scores of the light rail stations, so LA is definitely not #1 in the nation, but I would venture to guess it could easily be in the top 5-6 in the country w/ light rail included).

The ridership per track mile for the entire system will be around 5k (after the Expo Line), meaning it is well ridden and useful to those that use it. With gas going through the roof this figure only stands to improve.

It would be great to have heavy rail throughout the city, but LA just doesn't have the density to support a NY-style subway/elevated heavy rail. In fact, there really aren't any other cities in the US that do - take a look at Chicago/DC's ridership numbers, they are significantly lower than NYC's. You could have heavy rail throughout the city but don't be mad when fare prices double or triple because there is excessive heavy rail.

And even then NYC's subway gets overrated. It's not like you get into the station and *poof* you are at your destination. Often it takes a decent chunk of time to get anywhere, especially if you are traveling cross town or between boroughs.

Heavy rail through the SGV would be extremely cost-prohibitive; I do agree the Blue Line probably could have been made a subway but it was built on the cheap as the first line - I think city officials just wanted to get it done to show residents that mass transit can and will be built. Someday (possibly decades ), the Vermont Ave Subway will pick up that slack and provide a quicker route through South LA.

Last edited by munchitup; 03-06-2012 at 02:23 PM..
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Hollywood, CA
397 posts, read 776,361 times
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They should extend the red line to LAX and Bob Hope. At least to Bob Hope! I really hope they do eventually do the Crenshaw extension to Hollywood/Highland.

I was looking at some old material, for the original red line route, and it's fascinating how the stops changed after the methane explosion. Initially the two Hollywood stops were going to be Sunset/La Brea and Hollywood/Cahuenga. Neither spot seems very good compared to the Hollywood/Vine and Hollywood/Highland spots.
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