Metro Considers 4 Alternatives for Gold Line Extension

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Metro is ready to hit the ground running in 2009.  Staff is prepared to offer 4 alternatives to extending the Gold Line at this month’s Metro Board meeting following the formal unveiling at next week’s Planning and Programming Committee Meeting.

With the Alternatives Analysis now completed, we are one step closer to seeing the Gold Line penetrate deeper into the Eastside than its current alignment.  The next step would be for Metro to select a locally preferred alternative from one of the four routes remaining.

The four routes still being considered, hot off Metro’s press release presses, are:

  • SR-60: This
    alignment generally follows the southern edge of the SR-60 Freeway within the
    existing right-of-way. It would terminate just west of the I-605/SR-60
    interchange. This alternative would follow the slope of the freeway and become
    elevated over freeway ramps.
  • Beverly: This alignment follows SR-60 for a short
    stretch before traveling south on Garfield Avenue to connect with Beverly
    Boulevard. On Beverly Boulevard, this alignment continues east, using the
    Whittier Greenway to terminate at Whittier Boulevard. This alternative is
    primarily at-grade (street level) with short elevated structures along Garfield
    Avenue and at the San Gabriel River.
  • Beverly/Whittier: This alignment is the same as the
    Beverly alternative until reaching Montebello Boulevard where it heads south to
    Whittier Boulevard. Once on Whittier Boulevard, this alignment becomes elevated
    to cross two rivers and the I-605 freeway, ending at-grade in the city of
    Whittier.
  • Washington: This alignment follows SR-60 to Garfield Avenue, traveling
    south to Washington Boulevard. From there, the alignment continues east to the
    city of Whittier. This alternative is elevated along parts of Garfield Avenue
    and all of Washington Boulevard to eliminate conflict with truck traffic in the
    Washington Boulevard corridor.

In addition to Los Angeles, the
study also includes 12 municipalities and parts of unincorporated L.A. County.

  • Wad

    Based on these maps, the corridor with the best potential would be either Beverly or Whittier Boulevard.

    These streets are the busiest in the Montebello bus system, and are close enough to each other that riders would gravitate to either road where the Gold Line would run.

    In fact, both the 60 freeway and Washington alignments need to be dropped from consideration. Freeways are terrible places to run transit, and Washington is mostly an industrial street that would produce little to no ridership.

  • Zach has all the maps for the proposed routes up at LAist.

    http://laist.com/2009/01/05/metro_looking_to_expand_goldline_fu.php?gallery0Pic=2

  • Ken Alpern

    Thanks for the update, Damien–keep up the great work!

  • I agree, the freeway and Washington alignments need to be dropped from consideration.

    Is there plan to extend the Gold Line even further the City of Industry from Whittier?

  • If the Whittier Blvd alignment is adopted, it should be built to heavy rail specifications to allow for a future conversion. Specifically, it should be built:

    a) 100% grade separated
    b) with platforms long enough to accommodate 6-car subway trains and 3rd rail

    If Metro does that, it would allow a future Red/Purple line eastern extension from 7th St Metro and/or Union Station via Whitter Blvd to eventually connect with the Whittier/Atlantic to Whittier Quad section of this Gold Line Eastside Extension Phase 2 project.

    When that is done, the Eastside would be provided the rail line it was both promised (until it was taken away) and has the density and existing transit ridership to strongly support.

  • The freeway alignment makes sense only if you extend it to Crossroads Business Park, which is a green field office park that could become a transit-oriented edge city. But Metro staff didn’t think that anyone from Crossroads would take transit and instead stopped it at Peck Road, which basically makes the whole freeway exercise pointless.

  • Michael T. Greene

    Damien has hit on an idea that I broached with somebody at MTA a few years ago…AFAIK, this person is still there, so I’m not naming names…I mentioned that the Gold Line to East L.A. should be built to allow for a quick conversion for a Red/Purple Line eastward extension, as this may be a more logical service. As far as service on the Gold Line(Pasadena end) W. of Union Station, well, it’s time to determine what route you’ll terminate at LAUS when the Light Rail connection is built…Expo? Blue? Which is better as a through-route to Pasadena from a travel standpoint.

  • cph

    I’ve envisioned the East LA Gold Line branch continuing through downtown
    (perhaps with a back-in, back-out stop at Union Station) via the Downtown Connector and then westward along the Expo Line to Santa Monica.

    Similarly, the Blue Line would extend northward through Downtown, via the same Downtown Connector, and continue northward to Pasadena via the existing Gold Line….

    Who knows if these line segments would keep their existing colors….

    I also lean toward running it along Beverly, saving Whittier for a longer-term “legacy” subway project….

  • I got the following email from Metro, their comments are addressed above.

    Damien –

    Thanks for your recent post on the Eastside Phase 2 project. I am the outreach manager for this project and would like to request a few corrections.

    1. We updated our web page this morning with the latest map showing the four alternatives. It can be accessed at: http://www.metro.net/projects_studies/eastside_phase2/default.htm The map on your post is an older version that shows the original alternatives. I understand the press release will be re-sent to you with a pdf of the map – if you need it and don’t have it, contact me.

    2. I am confused by this paragraph in the blog: “Route selection for the extension has been somewhat controversial, and had been a point of debate during the battle over Measure R. However, with the Draft Environmental Impact Statement now completed, we are one step closer to seeing the Gold Line penetrate deeper into the Eastside than its current alignment.”

    Only the Alternatives Analysis (AA) has been completed for the Eastside Phase 2 project. I think you are confusing this project with the Gold Line Foothill Extension – the DEIS/DEIR for that project is indeed complete. We have also not selected any routes for this project – just alternatives that could lead to the selection of a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) at a later date. This has not been a controversial process.

    3. There are 13 cities in our study area plus unincorporated areas of LA County.

    Dave Monks
    Metro Regional Communications
    One Gateway Plaza, 99-8-2
    Los Angeles, CA 90012
    213-922-7456
    monksd@metro.net

  • Interurbans

    Why is the more direct and faster route from the Blue Line through a denser corridor along Randolph Ave through South Gate etc to Whittier not on the routes under consideration? Extending the Gold Line east along city streets will make for a very long trip from Whittier. There would be little advantage to use this new LRT line do to the long travel time. The Randolph corridor using the UP right of way once carried passengers on Pacific Elect trains to Whittier, La Habra, Fullerton, Brea and beyond that helped development along the way which to this day are large population centers that need to be served by a fast LRT line. This route makes much more sense than the slower Whittier Blvd alignment. It needs to be considered along with the Gold Line extensions. It can win on its own merits.

  • The Randolph Street route will not be faster, because it will be like the
    Gold Line down Marmion Way (also an existing right of way). You are going down a dense residential area and the PUC will make you slow down. At least with a Beverly/Whittier route (my preference if the freeway route doesn’t go to Crossroads) you have some elevated segments to make up some speed, and the route as a whole will travel the speed limit of the roadway, usually 35 to 45. I would like it if they posted the full analysis online though.

  • Interurbans

    The Randolph section through South Gate could also be elevated. The line east of the LA River is on a very wide right of way where it can run at grade with few crossings. It also goes through a denser area that has less direct transit to the rest of the city and downtown. The soon to open East LA Gold Line will already take a half hour from Atlantic to downtown and the trip to Whittier, La Herbaria or Brea will take well over and hour. Improved bus service along Whittier and Beverley Blvd’s can serve this area with the running time being close to what the LRT line would be. At least the Randolph corridor needs to be on the list of consideration and see how it stands up through the EIR, EIS processes.

  • How far north of this was the old Silver Line project proposed to go?

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