Friday, October 22, 2010

Hollywood to West Hollywood to Crenshaw to Long Beach?

I was informed by e-mail that at Metro's Measure R Committee meeting today Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas asked Metro staff to come back next month with some sort of feasibility analysis of a study that begins with the Santa Monica Blvd. transit corridor originating at Hollywood and Highland and continues via Santa Monica Blvd. to San Vicente to the south via Crenshaw with an alignment all the way to Long Beach.

Could this be the start of a coalition to keep alive a Santa Monica Blvd. rail alignment by combining it with a project that would help another underserved area in the south of the county?

If so, this would certainly have my full support. The lines would share tracks on Crenshaw, but that is just fine. In our emerging system, there should be shared tracking in transit corridors that makes transfers and mobility easy and convenient.

I would like to eventually see also an east-west Metrorail alignment that shares tracks on Santa Monica Blvd. between this proposal by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas and one that connects Century to downtown and points east via Santa Monica Blvd., Sunset Junction and Sunset Blvd.

While the ultimate dream for all transit advocates, of course, is a heavy rail subway like the Red and Purple Lines in their preferred transit corridor, most of the future construction of Metro rail will likely be some form of light rail and some modern streetcar.

In any event, the next step for those of us who want to see any type of Metrorail on the Santa Monica Blvd. corridor, heavy-rail, light-rail, or modern streetcar, is to keep the corridor alive for future feasibility studies.

Please attend Metro's meeting on October 28th and submit your comments that you want Metro to keep the Santa Monica Blvd. transit corridor alive for further feasibility studies.

Regular Metro Board Meeting
Metro Board Room
One Gateway Plaza, 3rd Floor
Los Angeles
Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 9:00 a.m.

If you cannot attend the meeting in person, then please send an e-mail customerRelations@metro.net

Look at how far this transit corridor has come in just a few years. Keep up the great work and stay optimistic and motivated. We can and we will ride Metrorail in some form on this corridor within (God willing) all of our lifetimes.

3 comments:

Chris L said...

What a cool idea for an alignment. I wonder where it would cut east over to Long Beach though. Crenshaw Blvd eventually winds up in Palos Verdes.

ThomasD said...

Dan,
I sent recommendation for the Santa Monica Blvd-Sunset Blvd Streetcar to Mark Ridley-Thomas and the MTA panning committee. I suggest two tweaks.

First, the SMB alignment turn north up Vine, then east at Sunset to intersect the Red Line at SMB/Sunset Station. Second, a small portion near Dodger Stadium entrance should be underground or grade separated for obvious reasons. For this reason, the segment between downtown and SMB/Sunset station should probably complete as Phase 2.

ThomasD said...

Dan,
I don't know the minute politics to convince the MTA board of one alignment over another, but here's an angle to present to your political connections and one that I'll share with Mark Ridley-Thomas.

If the Rose alignment from SMB down Fairfax to San Vincente is not chosen and the SMB down LaBrea to San Vincente is chosen, then for transit-equity to West Hollywood, the MTA is morally compelled to include Santa Monica Blvd Streetcar from Century City to SMB/Vermont as a Phase 1 project in the 30/10 plan revision.

This is not pork barrel. It would be smart transit to provide a high patronage line welcomed by tourists and the Hollywood community (linking Paramount to Fox) and with connections that boost patronage to 2 HRT lines and 1 LRT line. Since much of the track ROW exists, I'm guessing a cost of $200M. What's your estimate for that part of the SMB Streetcar line?