Scoping Meetings for NEXT Gold Line Foothill Extension Begin Tonight

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While most local transit watchers are focusing on the upcoming Westside Subway Scoping meetings, particularly the one on January 31 in Beverly Hills, another set of transit expansion meetings will begin tomorrow night for the second Foothill Extension for the Gold Line.

This month’s transit expansion meetings will kick off not on the Westside but in the San Gabiel Valley with the environmental scoping hearings for Phase 2B of the Gold Line Foothill Extension.  This phase will run from from Azusa to Montclair, extending the Metro Gold Line 12.6 miles and adding six stations in the cities of  Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont, and Montclair.  You can get the details for the public meetings at the Streetsblog calendar section.

The earliest construction could begin on this line, assuming the Construction Authority manages to get the $400 million the extension would cost after the $100 million allocation expected from Measure R, would be 2015.  At that point the extension would already be completed from Pasadena through Azusa, an extension that began construction last year.

The Foothill Extensions have proven controversial amongst some transit advocates who site lower than normal projected ridership numbers.  But with all the complaints about transit expansion projects within the city, it’s nice to write about a project that, thus far, hasn’t attracted an organized opposition.

For more information on the Gold Line Foothill Extension, visit the official website for the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.  You could also visit the authority’s blog site at I Will Ride.

  • LAofAnaheim

    Has any construction really happened last year? They haven’t moved with their iconic bridge which still hasn’t hit construction (expected February ’11). I think heavy (visual) construction will begin in summer ’11 and by the sounds of it, now the extension will open in 2014, instead of the earlier 2013 they kept promising by begging for Measure R funds. A measure that the Foothill cities were against, but were the first wih their hands open after it passed.

  • While the Gold Line will be extended on its northern fork and possibly twice on its southern fork, I really wish that double-tracking the San Bernadino Line and Ventura and Antelope Valley lines of Metrolink, and running more frequent trains generated the same level of excitement.

    Metrolink commuter rail still has great potential. I think once the Purple Line extension and Regional Connector are in operation, that will increase Metrolink demand as there will now be more mobility once commuters get to Union Station.

  • Erik G.

    East of La Verne this line will run parallel to the San Bernardino Metrolink line which is mostly double-tracked through to Montclair (or could easily be) and already runs at a 20-minute headway in the peak direction. For a perhaps about the same cost of building a parallel Gold Line from La Verne to Montclair, the entire San Bernardino Line could be double-tracked (where it is still not yet) and maybe even electrified to improve acceleration between stations.

    Note that the map above shows no indication of running to the LA/Ontario (ONT) airport, south from Montclair, but where I have seen it shown, the line misses downtown Ontario by running to its east.

    Would it not be a better use of the Measure R funds to have a Gold Line/SB Line interchange station at La Verne or North(west) Pomona and then aim the Gold Line Southeast so as to serve the Fairplex, downtown Pomona, and downtown Ontario (which are already primed to be future TOD due to their pasts), then follow Holt/Mission/The old Southern Pacific ROW to the front door of ONT?

    There is little space for new construction at the current North Pomona or Montclair stations, and Claremont is already built out. Any other open land along the current San Bernardino line is tied up by industry (gravel) or reserved for flood control, while downtown Pomona and Ontario are the very places having roads, sidewalks and utilities in place and needing the economic shot in the arm that Light Rail is proven to be able to bring.

  • Spokker

    Political realities dictate that this line move forward so that the San Gabriel Valley doesn’t get in the way of the infinitely more useful Wilshire Subway.

    Sad but true.

  • ds

    I seriously hope that the second phase doesn’t actually happen. It’s not in Measure R, so it probably won’t.

    The train from Pasadena to Azusa is most likely going to have laughably low ridership. It’s mostly at-grade so it won’t be fast enough generate large time savings over the freeway, and the areas it pass through are all low-density suburban and industrial.

    Phase II has the same problems, but to an even greater extent.

  • Spokker

    At-grade doesn’t necessarily mean slow. Metrolink is mostly at-grade and it blows through crossings at 79 MPH in some places.

    In quiet zones it blows through crossings at 79 without even honking.

    Down in San Diego County, the Coaster and the Surfliner blow through at-grade stations at 90 MPH.

  • Dan Wentzel

    I just wish the San Fernando Valley was as organized as the San Gabriel Valley.

    SFV shouldn’t be stuck with just a measly and inadequate busway. SFV deserves an East/West light rail between Warner Center and the Gold Line, and a North/South light rail between Sylmar and LAX.

  • @Dan “I just wish the San Fernando Valley was as organized as the San Gabriel Valley.” I seem to recall that the SFV was as organized as the SGV – though they were organized in opposition to the rail project that became the Orange Line BRT.

  • And phase 2b is sort of funded by Measure R. Any leftover funds from phase 2a automatically roll over to 2b. The Construction Authority is estimating that amount to be $100 million.

  • @Joe.

    It wasn’t the whole SFV opposing light-rail, as much as the timing when this was built as the NIMBYs everywhere in Los Angeles County had a lot more power and influence, just as when the NIMBYs had a lot more power and influence to stop the Purple Line extension for 20 years.

    If this were being designed and built now, there would be a lot more grass roots community support for light-rail to face down the fewer number of NIMBYs.

  • ds

    @Spokker

    They certainly aren’t going to be running this train at 79 along Duarte Rd. It will probably run at 40 mph and unless they work out the signal timing perfectly it will have to stop at red lights.

    @Dan

    The state representatives from the San Fernando Valley actually passed a law in the state legislature that banned light rail in the Orange Line corridor. It wasn’t the NIMBY groups that blocked it.

    The Foothill Line has been talked about in the San Gabriel Valley for 20 years, and nothing of the sort has happened. There’s no significant organized opposition, and most of the elected officials are in favor. It will be built without much of a fuss.

  • Spokker

    “They certainly aren’t going to be running this train at 79 along Duarte Rd. It will probably run at 40 mph and unless they work out the signal timing perfectly it will have to stop at red lights.”

    It won’t be stopping at red lights along Duarte because it has its own right of way. The crossing arms will come down and it will continue through at full speed, probably 55 MPH hopefully. This stretch is similar to Metrolink’s ROW through along San Fernando Rd.

    Light rail can do 65, which happens on the Green Line every day.

  • @ds

    Why aren’t candidates running for the state legislature in the San Fernando Valley asked to submit bills to repeal this ban?

    In fact, I will make it easy. Send your letters and/or call the following and ask them to repeal the Robbins bill that bans light-rail in parts of the San Fernando Valley:

    State Senator Carol Liu
    710 S. Central Ave, #310
    Glendale, CA 91204
    Phone: (818) 409-0400

    State Senator Alex Padilla
    6150 Van Nuys Blvd., #400
    Van Nuys, CA 91401
    Phone: 818-901-5588

    State Assemblymemer Felipe Fuentes
    9300 Laurel Canyon Blvd. First Floor
    Arleta, CA 91331-4314
    Phone: (818) 504-3911

    State Assemblymember Bob Blumenfeld
    Van Nuys State Building
    6150 Van Nuys Blvd, Suite 305
    Phone: (818) 904-3840
    Van Nuys, CA 91401

    State Assemblymember Mike Feuer
    (his district covers the southeastern SFV too)
    9200 Sunset Blvd, Suite 1212
    West Hollywood, CA 90069
    Tel: (310) 285-5490
    Tel: (818) 902-0521

    Just because a corrupt politician and some loud vocal NIMBYs thwarted rail in the past, doesn’t mean we cannot work and plan for a better future for the SFV today.

    The San Fernando Valley deserves better than a measly and inadequate busway. It deserves a east/west light rail line connecting Woodland Hills to Pasadena, and a north/south light rail line connecting Sylmar to LAX, and better connectivity for the Burbank Airport and future Burbank High Speed Rail station.

    This is about the future too.

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