Expo Construction Authority Expected to Pick Final Route Tomorrow

4_1_09_expo.jpgImage of Light Rail in Santa Monica via Curbed LA

Tomorrow, the Expo Construction Authority will vote on a "Final" route for Phase II of the Expo Line that will undergo an environmental study before final design and construction.  The staff has recommended, and the Board will almost assuredly follow their recommendation, that the they move forward with option "LRT-2" or in layman’s terms a light rail option that will run down the existing right-of-way before turning down Colorado Avenue towards the coast. 

This route has long been a favorite of most locals and environmentalists because it provides the most direct, least costly and least environmentally dangerous route for the line.  Friends for Expo already have released a statement supporting the alignment and have set up a link for supporters to email the Construction Authority Board. Light Rail for Cheviot has also emailed supporters asking for their support at tomorrow’s hearing and is pushing a secondary message of asking for a station at Westwood.

Thus far, the groups opposing the Expo Line have held their powder, although we can expect a response from them tomorrow.  Both the Cheviot Hills Homeowners Association and Neighbors for Smart Rail have opposed a Westwood Station.

While tomorrow may end the debate over where the line will go, it does nothing to close other parts of the debate.  The future of the Expo Bike Path, the issues of grade separation and where to place maintenance facilities are all to be decided at a future point.

The Board Meeting will begin tomorrow at 2:30 pm downtown in the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 W. Temple, Third Floor, Board of Supervisors, Hearing Room 381B.

Several groups have sent Action Alerts to my inbox.  To read some of them, click through the jump.

Light Rail for Cheviot:

All Supporters of the Right-of-Way route for Phase 2 of the Expo Line:

THIS IS THE TIME WE REALLY NEED YOU TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE ROW!  THE EXPO BOARD IS FINALLY ABOUT TO MAKE A DECISION ON THE ROUTE!

Please either turn out for the Expo Board meeting on Thursday, April 2, at 2:30 pm downtown in the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 W. Temple, Third Floor, Board of Supervisors, Hearing Room 381B, or email the Board members.  Use the addresses below to write them!

We formed to SUPPORT THE ROW, and that should be the MAIN MESSAGE. Also, WE WANT A STATION AT WESTWOOD – CHHA and NFSR are opposing it, arguing that only a station at Sepulveda is needed.  But we want to USE the light rail, not just watch it go by!  And this is your chance to tell the Board your views on the two main issues facing Cheviot Hills and Rancho Park:  at-grade or grade-separated at Overland, parking or greenway between Westwood and Overland.

Addresses:

councilmember.perry@lacity.org ,councilmember.wesson@lacity.org,councilmember.parks@lacity.org,seconddistrict@lacbos.org,zev@lacbos.org,pam.oconnor@smgov.net,scott.malsin@culvercity.org

Los Angeles County Bike Coalition:

Attention Cyclists: We have an important opportunity to
demand that the Expo Bikeway is built!

WHAT: Expo Board of Directors meeting
WHEN: Thursday, April 2, 2:30pm
WHERE: Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration , 500 W. Temple Street,
Third Floor, Board of Supervisors’ Hearing Room 381 B

The Expo Board will vote on a design
alternative for Phase 2 (Culver City to Santa Monica) and they
must address outstanding bikeway issues.  At this meeting, we need to get a commitment that they will build the bikeway.


Please attend this meeting and speak in support of the Expo
Bikeway project!

You don’t need a polished presentation; just let them know
we need this and it needs to be done right.  Here are some key points:

– The bikeway must be built with the Expo project. 
Since it was not included in the Draft-EIR, we need a commitment and a plan
from Expo on how that will happen.

– Some intersections where Expo proposes the bikeway go have
serious problems with road crossings: Venice & Robertson, Pico @
Gateway, Olympic @ Stewart.  Expo needs to work with LA and Santa
Monica
to find safe and convenient solutions.

– Expo, Metro and the cities need to find funding for the
bikeway so that it can be built at the same time as the rail line.

– If the Expo Bikeway is not built at the same time as the
rail line, costs will increase dramatically and
construction difficulties could be created

– The goal of the Expo project is to reduce auto use.  The bikeway is a critical component because it can deliver
transit users to stations without car trips and provides a much-needed
crosstown commuter bikeway. 

We need as many cyclists’ voices as possible to ensure the building
of the Expo Bikeway!

  • “Both the Cheviot Hills Homeowners Association and Neighbors for Smart Rail have opposed a Westwood Station.”

    —————-

    This time the NIMBYs won’t win.

  • PatrickP

    ^^How could they think they are being even mildly reasonable. No Westwood station? That’s ridiculous.

  • Ridiculous NIMBY’s.

    There are SO many GOOD reasons for LRT2. And only ridiculous, selfish and silly reasons to go with any of the routes.

    And the idea of not having a station at Westwood is ludicrous, it would be one of the most used!@

  • LAofAnaheim

    Sounds like we went through this with the Trousdale station issue….

    There HAS to be a Westwood station.

  • The Westwood station has the greatest projected weekday boardings — 5,213 — of all Phase 2 stations, with its major bus connections to Westwood, UCLA, and Century City.

  • Well, give the HOAs some credit: kill the Westwood station, you eliminate the entire reason for the Expo line. It’s the quickest route to achieve their ultimate goal.

    [note: I do not support the HOA position, just point out the obvious – I’m all for LRT-2]

  • Sounds like a no-brainer. LRT-2 it is!

  • JDRCRASH

    This is the best idea. Venice needs it’s own line toward the Crenshaw district and maybe even towards Downtown.

  • LRT-2-Nowhere

    I am saddened to see the endorsements of the Colorado alignment.
    Expo is not a streetcar.
    Trying to make it so, will only ensure that more people remain clogged on the freeway and on the boulevards in their private cars.

    The Coral trees on Olympic will have to come down in the next few years anyway, before they collapse and kill someone.

    For all the effort over the last 15-odd years to get Expo going, on the ROW, it seems a contradiction to now move it off the most fastest route just because a few people don’t like the look of a bridge, and as I think we’ll find out after the fact, many behind the scenes have development gigs that favor Colorado. If the argument is made that Colorado will serve more people, then why oppose going off-ROW for Venice-Sepulveda?

    Running at-grade is a mistake we’ll live with for 100 years. If you think westside gridlock is bad now, just wait. And for those who think that gridlock will only impact autos, think again. As soon as “the train” kills a Darwin nominees, the cries for 10 mph running and Orange-Line style stops at all surface crossings will dominate, and there will be no going back. Our $3 Billion spent will resemble nothing more than a large-capacity bus, and the public will not pass another Prop “R” for a generation.

    The Red and Yellow cars failed not due to conspiracy (though it helped!) but for the fact that without dedicated ROW’s, running at-grade, in mixed traffic they were slow as molasses, and “unsafe”. (Gratuitous Santayana quote: “Those who do not learn from history … “)

    Sign me disgusted, but not surprised.
    The Red Line didn’t stop at Western, become a busway in the valley, or skip East LA by accident. The Wilshire bus lanes didn’t dry up and disappear and the Lincoln bus lane wasn’t stillborn by accident. These major transit failures took deliberate and intense behind-the-scenes maneuvering and all benefited a few special interests at the expense of the public.

  • Interurbans

    I am sure glad that the shortest and by far the best route is being selected and we all can finely move forward in getting this much needed line built and opened in a reasonable time period.

    The area between Overland and Westwood west is a single family neighborhood and needs to be protected from an industrial heavily used parking lot at the proposed station. The right of way must be a greenway with NO parking lots from Overland to just east of Sepulveda. The Westwood station needs to be a minimal design with a “kiss and ride” droop off area and a bus transfer only with no parking and lots of green and surrounded by the full green area encompassing the entire right of way of way area.

    The grade separations need to be worked out based on the traffic on the cross streets that will be impacted, noise and visual impact and not “environmental justice”.
    Lets build this line for fast service for the riders, minimal impact on the cross traffic and the surrounding neighborhoods, keep it attractive with simple a infrastructure and a maximum of green along the line.

  • Since when has a LRT going 35mph on a dedicated lane right of way with signal priority slow?

    Large capacity bus as a train, aren’t all major mass transit rail lines just that in concept “higer capacity electric buses”?

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