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Old 01-08-2009, 11:03 PM
1,297 posts, read 5,239,295 times
Reputation: 570


I followed the expo line along exposition blvd to downtown la today.

Although the prior rail line offers a nice straight shot to west la, the majority of the line runs through the back lots of many industrial bldgs and back sides of residential neighborhoods along exposition. Whats the point in this line really? I think it is a waste of money. Even the future option behind Pico is no-mans land. just a small residential community too far from anything. I can now understand why those people are against it.

This land should have been paved for buses to use as an express route where they could jump off at key points and travel surface or make sharp turns and utilize other sections of unused city property, like along frwys and easements.

I also discovered why Villaraigosa and Weiss are so pro expo....Guess... Casden Development. Curbed LA: Casden's Pico-Sepulveda Project Jumps on Expo Line Bandwagon They want to bypass density laws by building next to a public transit system. Pico and Sepulveda is a proposed 500+ apartment development with Retail of 250,000+ sq ft. including a target.

The last thing Pico/Sepulveda needs is 500 units and a target store. Top it off, how are they going to cross a train over Sepulveda Blvd, Sawtelle Blvd, then Pico Blvd? They will certainly take it above ground or below ground.

I am all for public transit development, but it should be done through areas of high density, like wilshire blvd, Santa Monica through Century City & Bev Hills, or even olympic from Sepulveda to Bundy. This current line is going through and to no where. or sorry an end stop in santa monica. Great. So if you live along exposition blvd in one of those POS houses, you may soon be able get to So. santa monica.

Ive always felt the transit system should begin construction in LA on the freeways first, along the hills on either side or below. This really confirms it. From there, smaller projects that tunnel under major streets could be set up to tie it all in. A rail running down the 5 & 405 from north valley through west la could hit so much, then a branch down the 101 and one down the 10 East and west while the main line shoots down 405 to an LAX station and beyond.

Unfortunately, it looks like these lines are being built so developers and exploit and construct around them in key locations they own. Casden isnt the only one, but a good example.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:53 PM
672 posts, read 2,016,246 times
Reputation: 891
The main reason for the Expo line's current routing is because the rail right-of-way already exists and is owned by MTA. Because of the poisonous politics of this town, building along existing rights-of-way is pretty much the only option.

Even running this track along an abandoned freight train line has been tremendously controversial. There have been hundreds of hours of meetings and hearings and it is still unclear if the whole line will even be built at all.

Also, running trains and such along the freeway rights of way sounds great in theory, but doesn't work out in practice because of the "I hate my life" factor. The "I hate my life" factor basically is this: people don't hate taking busses and trains as much as they hate waiting for busses and trains. And this is increased if the bus-stop or train platform is in an unpleasant or loud place. The Green Line that runs down the 105 freeway has never lived up to its potential because (1) is goes from nowhere to nowhere and (2) the platforms are in the middle of the freakin freeway. Every time I'm waiting for the Green Line at the Green/Blue interchange, I think to myself "I hate my life."

Likewise there are many express busses that run straight up and down the 110 freeway. Super fast. Super convenient. But every day I had to wait for the stupid 460 bus by standing in the middle of the 110 freeway made me want to kill myself. Nothing reinforces how much of a loser you are then watching tens of thousands of people drive by in their cars while you stand there choking of their fumes. They did spend $500 million putting in that 110 freeway busway (the "Harbor Freeway Transitway"), and no one uses it.

I agree with you in principle, though. The routing of the Expo Line isn't great. But we just don't have the type of government that can force people to suck up a new route because it is for the greater good. That's why I envy places like China or Germany where the government can just get this stuff done. But it is the disadvantages of living in a democracy, I guess.

For selfish reasons, I am pro Expo Line. I bought my house in my neighborhood because I wanted to be near the new Expo Line. I'm expecting that it will lead to some new development down here in this corner of the Crenshaw District.

Last edited by Mike121; 01-09-2009 at 01:00 PM.. Reason: grammar
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:33 PM
1,297 posts, read 5,239,295 times
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I agree those stations are ugly as they are very Developer Friendly and lacking in so many ways, especially in asthetics.

A good system that runs along the side of the Freeway would be quieter and would utilize raw land and elevate the track to a different grade enabling stations to be built off the freeway. Walking into a building and down a flight of stairs off to the side of a freeway is much different than standing between two rivers of cars.

Vegetation, landscaping, train terminals etc can be designed to address those concerns.

My issue is the train starts S/W of downtown, near USC and flows through very sparcely populated areas with no major density. A line that runs by major office developments, universities etc would have served the public.

I know we cannot duplicate the Northern European/German and Swiss systems, however we can learn a lot about design & construction from them.
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:42 PM
Location: South Bay
7,187 posts, read 20,514,294 times
Reputation: 3497
i wonder if the mta will run a dash like shuttle from the culver city terminus up to century city after it gets built. otherwise, i don't see this line getting too much use, atleast until it's completed all the way to santa monica. even then, i don't see too many people using this because of the lack of connectivity. all the connections (blue line, red line, gold line, and metrolink are on the far eastern portion of the expo line, while the destinations will be at the far western end of the line. from my experiences, westsiders work on the westside, not downtown.

i wish the expo line the best of luck, but i'm a bit wary of the potential of the line.
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Old 01-09-2009, 06:18 PM
672 posts, read 2,016,246 times
Reputation: 891
The other part of the story, to which you've already alluded, is the developer story.

Because of Expo, the city and CRA are busy rezoning and softening the building height requirements along the route. Crenshaw, Jefferson and Adams Blvd are all getting the full CRA treatment. West Adams Neighborhood Council is already pushing back on some of the high density apartment buildings that people are trying to build by taking advantage of CRA money.

In essence, they are trying to reverse engineer the need for the train by putting people by the train. TOD.

But to get the CRA money, they have to make promises for affordable housing, so you end up with either project housing or rich new developments with a handful of token low-income apartments.

In almost any other neighborhood, this would be another tragic gentrification story where local businesses are leveled and souless chain stores and boring commerical properties replace them. But in my little corner of the city, there is so little economic activity and so much empty industrial and storefront space that soul-destroying and community-destroying gentrification will probably be an improvement.
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