Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Sunset - Santa Monica Blvd. Light Rail Line would be popular. Should we advocate for one?

The Expo Line project, the second-half opening of which we are eagerly awaiting within months, began as a grass roots advocacy project.

One project idea that people talk to me about as a dream of theirs is a rail project on Sunset Blvd. between Downtown and Sunset Junction, which then continues on Santa Monica Blvd. toward West Hollywood. Such a project could then potentially be extended further west on Santa Monica toward the beach or south on La Cienega.

I think such a project would be nifty and very popular, and I know I would ride it almost every day.  Here is what a sample map might look like for such a project:

Does this idea have any grass roots support?  Such a project would likely need to be above ground if enough money were to be raised to build it.  This means taking road space away from parking and possible traffic in places.  I think that is a price worth paying, but there would be some community opposition as there is to every transit project.

What do you think?  Do you like this idea?  Are you willing to work for it?  We'd have to bring political, business, community, environmental, labor, and neighborhood leaders of every variety aboard in a coalition to make this happen.

The important thing to remember is that the Expo Line has already proven that it CAN happen.


Franz said...

It's an excellent idea. a true gold standard BRT will be eaiser to build, but a LRT line will probably be an easier sell just because it's sexier.

Chris said...

Light rail on Sunset would be a dream!

Dan Wentzel said...

Well, the reason LRT is "sexier" is because people enjoy the experience of riding on rail more than riding a bus on asphault.

(I know BRT enthusiasts, who pretend a seat on the bus is the same quality as a seat on a train, hate it when I mention that, but it doesn't make it any less true.) :)

RON Johnson said...

Monorail would be better . it would be easier and faster to build than light rail.

Franz said...

Oh I agree with you. I prefer rails wherever it can be built. It really is just more comfortable!

Johnny said...

I love this idea of the pink line downtown to SJ via Sunset then bringing it to WeHo via SM BLVD.
But, I do not know how to reconcile the fact that WeHo took out the previously existing train tracks when they "improved" the sidewalks. I mean we HAD train tracks in WeHo!!

Marshall said...

I have to think a WeHo - Hollywood - Sunset Junction - DTLA line would become one of the most popular in the whole system. My perfect version would be a true HRT subway that runs beneath Sunset between Hollywood and Los Feliz; shares a track with the Red Line to Hollywood/Highland; then veers slightly to continue along Santa Monica through West Hollywood.

In an ideal (as in, cost-is-no-object) world, you could have two branches from there -- one continuing down SM Blvd and joining the Purple Line to Santa Monica, and a second running down La Cienega to Culver City, and then under either Washington Blvd or Venice Blvd., terminating at the beach.

Unknown said...

As much as I would like this line to become a reality, it would absolutely need to be completely grade separated non-street running to maximize its true potential. That would mean subway, elevated or trenched for most of its alignment especially during its Santa Monica Blvd jog.

Raymond Yu said...

LACMTA - Metro and the City of Los Angeles will require to have a mandated brand new Chinatown Gateway Underground Light Rail Station will be operated by either Metro Pink Line (Sunset Blvd. - Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood Route) or Metro Brown Chocolate Line (between Union Station and Santa Clarita) that will be located at Ord Street doorway exit entry points between New High Street, North Broadway and Hill Street in Chinatown Los Angeles preceded by Union Station and followed by Dodger Stadium Station.
Chinatown Gateway Underground Light Rail Station is accessible between Far East Plaza, Chinatown Gateway Overhead Dragon Bridge Sign Gantry Pole, Jia Apartments, Chinatown Library, Asian Centre and Chinatown Hiking Trails on Ord and Yale Streets. The proposed station plaza will replace the former site of Velvet Turtle Restaurant on the northeast corner of North Hill and Ord Streets still in Lower Chinatown Los Angeles (Chinatown Gateway Area, formerly Sonoratown L.A.).
The jobsite to build a brand new Chinatown Gateway Subway Underground Light Rail Station below the Ord Street surface level will be located at the vacant space site of former and demolished Velvet Turtle Restaurant - 700 North Hill Street in Chinatown Los Angeles followed by tunnel excavation, full street closure, potholing, drainage sewage pipe replacement, traffic signal light upsizing, upgrading and replacement project, and will be ready to ride in the future.