Monday, April 14, 2008

10 Days to Get Your Pink Line Support to the MTA

There is ten days left in which the MTA is taking public comment and feedback for the draft Long Range Transportation Plan.

Alternative #9 is the one I support, pictured here:















It contains both the one seat ride from the Valley to the Westside and a one seat ride from West Hollywood to Hollywood. It also includes the incredibly necessary Purple Line extension down Wilshire to the Santa Monica via Century City. This would likely be a "heavy-rail" alternative similar to the Red Line.

Here's Alternative #16, which is also interesting:














The Pink Line goes to the the Beverly Center/Cedar Sinai here instead of the back end of Beverly Hills. In this model, the Pink Line would likely be a "light-rail" line similar to the Blue, Gold and Green lines. If this model is chosen, the Pink Line could probably head down La Cienega to the Expo Line, even possibly be a zig zag crosstown line as a northern extension of the Crenshaw Line -- think the "G Train" in Brooklyn/Queens. It could also be easily extended east of La Brea on Santa Monica to Sunset Junction, then down Sunset to Silver Lake, Echo Park and the Downtown Regional Connector.

It's the one seat ride from the Valley to the Westside that really makes the Alternative #9 the preferred choice for me to start with, offering a valuable alternative to countless people snaking through passes and canyons every day. This is an argument for using Alterative #9, but instead of going straight through the back end of Beverly Hills, heading from San Vincente/Santa Monica to the Beverly Center, then joining the Purple Line at La Cienega/Wilshire on the way to Century City. That may add a few minutes to the total ride, but its certainly better than parking on Laurel, Coldwater Canyon, or the Sepulveda Pass, isn't it? Still, with the right-of-way still owned by the MTA, I think Alternative #9, is the right way to go to start the Pink Line. (Note: The MTA believe the Purple Line is the higher priority as do most transit advocates, so don't harbor any illusions it will be picked instead of Wilshire. At this point, our best bet is to get the MTA to commit to BOTH the Wilshire and Santa Monica Blvd. lines.)

Send e-mail supporting one or the other of these alignments or both to the following:
metroplan@mta.net
WestsideExtension@mta.net

You'll be glad you did. You can find out more about the other alternatives for the Westside Transit Extenion Corridor Project and the Long Range Transportation Plan at www.mta.net

Just keep imagining riding that subway from Universal City to the Beverly Center and Century City or from The Abbey in West Hollywood to The Eagle in Silverlake.

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SAVE THE DATE

Westside Extension Transit Corridor Update Meetings - May 5th, 6th, 8th, and 12th

Please join Metro for the next round of community meetings to learn about progress on the Westside Extension Transit Corridor Alternatives Analysis Study. These meetings will update you about the refined set of alternatives that will continue for further study and the schedule for future steps.

Wilshire/Fairfax area: Monday, May 5th, 6 – 8pm
Los Angeles County Museum of Art: West - Terrace Room, 5th Floor
5905 Wilshire Bl, Los Angeles

Westwood area: Tuesday, May 6th, 6 – 8pm
Westwood Presbyterian Church
10822 Wilshire Bl, Los Angeles

City of Santa Monica: Thursday, May 8th, 6 – 8pm
Santa Monica Public Library – Multipurpose Room, 2nd Floor
601 Santa Monica Bl, Santa Monica

City of West Hollywood: Monday, May 12th, 6 – 8pm
Plummer Park
7377 Santa Monica Bl (at Plummer Pl), West Hollywood

Content presented at these meetings will be identical, so make sure to attend at the time and location most convenient for you.

For additional information or questions, please visit the Westside Extension Transit Corridor Study website at metro. net/westside or contact the project information line at 213.922.6934.


LONG RANGE TRANSPORTATION PLAN – Comments due April 25

Metro’s Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), which identifies and prioritizes projects for future funding, is currently being updated. Even if you have already commented directly to Metro about the Westside Extension study, Metro’s LRTP planners also need to hear from you about potential transit improvements on the Westside if they are to be included in future regional transportations plans.

For more information about the LRTP, including how to comment, go to metro. net/longrangeplan.

3 comments:

johnny said...

This is an argument for using Alterative #9, but instead of going straight through the back end of Beverly Hills, heading from San Vincente/Santa Monica to the Beverly Center, then joining the Purple Line at La Cienega/Wilshire on the way to Century City. That may add a few minutes to the total ride, but its certainly better than parking on Laurel, Coldwater Canyon, or the Sepulveda Pass, isn't it?

You forgot one other benefit to this alignment: it makes the midcity-valley trip much more viable than the santa monica route. This way, folks as far east as La Cienega could get a 1 seater into the valley, and those getting on at fairfax wouldnt have to choose between going west to wilshire/santa monica or east to vermont.

Scott said...

MTA is not going to recommend or pay for the Pink Line alignment through West Hollywood.

What I recommend you guys do is lobby the cities of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood to get the money together THEMSELVES, and build a streetcar (not light rail! Streetcar is easier, faster to build, and cheaper.)

This would travel about 5 miles along the old Pacific Electric ROW, from the Beverly Hills line at Century City (access to Century City), along Little Santa Monica, and Santa Monica the rest of the way to Highland Avenue in Hollywood, where it would turn north and meet up with the Red Line subway. You'd have to negotiate with the City of Los Angeles to run that last mile or so from Santa Monica and LaBrea to Hollywood and Highland. But that could be done.

The problem, as usual, is with the money to pay for this project. If the two municipalities get the money together (both are certainly not poverty-stricken locales) then this could be built in under one year (streetcar, not light rail).

Dan Wentzel said...

Scott is certainly welcome to his opinion, but he is being defeatest. The Westside Transit Corridor Extension Study hasn't even finished yet.

In his singular focus on Hollywood/Highland to Century City, Scott also fails to mention the light rail option that goes from Santa Monica/San Vicente down La Cienga towards Wilshire/Expo. He also neglects to mention the benefits of the one-seat ride from North Hollywood to Century City or Wilshire from the Valley giving a precious alternative to the countless people snaking through passes and canyons every day.

The MTA is receiving more support for a Santa Monica Blvd. alignment than they ever thought they would.

Of course, there will be naysayers, some NIMBYs, the automobile-entitled, bus-only transit extremists, and other people who have a problem with West Hollywood for all the obvious (a.k.a. "gay") reasons -- and don't forget those who support other rail projects who view the Pink Line as a competitive threat to funding their preferred project and will find reasons to oppose it for their own self interests.

Do not lose heart on the basis of Scott's comments. Nothing has been decided yet. And even if the MTA were to say "no" now, which has not yet happened, that doesn't mean they won't say "yes" later as the coalition and demand for the Santa Monica Blvd. alignment continues to grow.

If the cities of West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Los Angeles (Hollywood) want the "streetcar" option, that is fine. But there is no reason for them to settle for that now if what they really want is heavy and light rail.

"First they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." - Gandhi.