Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Should the Hollywood bus terminal be at the Highland station or the Vine Station?

Here is something that has confused me.

The suggested northern terminals for any northern extension of the Crenshaw Line and the original Santa Monica Blvd. alignment proposal of the Westside Subway extension has been the Hollywood/Highland station.

This got me thinking about the current bus terminal for the forced transfer between the 212/217 to the 180/181 at Hollywood/Vine.  These buses probably terminate at Vine because there is a designated parking area for buses to wait and for drivers to have their breaks (which is important) near Hollywood/Vine.  (Put aside the question for now about whether there should even be a forced transfer there.)

However, shouldn't for convenience sake the 180/181 go west to Hollywood/Highland to allow for easy transfers to the 156/656?  Is the heavy density area on Hollywood between Highland and Vine really "duplicated" by that short extension?

What is the center of Hollywood anyway?  The "Walk of Fame" intersection at Hollywood/Vine was the cultural heart of Hollywood before the (formerly named Kodak) Theatre was built at Highland.  Shouldn't possibly the Hollywood/Vine station be considered as a possible northern terminal for any rail line ending in Hollywood, also since that is where the bus terminal parking is?  (Granted, at that point it is probably cheaper to somehow move the bus terminal parking near Highland if an expanded station is being built there to accommodate another rail line -- or even include a bus terminal as part of the design of the expanded station.)

This brings up the seemingly unpleasant but necessary discussion of urban and transit planners to fulfill the need for resting buses to park somewhere and for bus operators to have a safe place with appropriate facilities to take their breaks.  So where should an appropriate Hollywood/Highland bus terminal be?

And since we are talking about bus lines on Hollywood, there are actually several bus lines that run or terminate on Hollywood Blvd.  Isn't Hollywood between Highland and Western a natural street for a transit-only lane?  I certainly think so.


Matt Thomas said...

I think the best ending location for the Crenshaw Line would be The Hollywood Bowl. I don't know if the Vine or Highland station would make for a better connection to get there (I would think that Highland would).

Dan Wentzel said...

Thank you for your comment.

When the Red Line was built Metro studied a station at Hollywood/Highland or one specifically at the Hollywood Bowl. They are really too close together for separate stations. They decided to put it at Hollywood/Highland which turned out to be the best choice for all day usage.

The eventual northern terminal of the Crenshaw/LAX line is likely to be Hollywood/Highland. How it gets there from Expo/Crenshaw is an interesting discussion: