What’s Next for Expo – Community Outreach Edition.

Yesterday, we showed some of the possible designs for the Westwood/Exposition station of the Expo Line and called the decision “what’s next for the Expo Construction Authority.”  However, there’s a lot more on the table than just the station design for one station.  Karen Leonard, one of the Chairs of Light Rail for Cheviot, checked in with Expo staff on the community outreach process for Phase II including an “Urban Design Committee” and “Bicycle Advisory Committee.”  Her letter to community leaders can be found below. – DN

This City of Santa Monica sketch (5/18/09) shows how the terminus station could look from 4th and Colorado. Image: Friends for Expo

Some of us from Light Rail for Cheviot and Friends4Expo just met with Expo Authority leaders and relevant political staffers to ask when community input on the design of the stations will be solicited and on what particular features of the design it will be sought.

In late April or early May, Expo will hold community meetings to introduce the Project Manager for the Design/Build contractor and the proposed designs.  At these meetings and later ones as well, public input will be solicited about, for example, the design of the Kiss and Ride feature and of the 20-space Residents’ parking lot. Earthern berms and/or sound walls, the height of sound walls (taking into consideration not only noise mitigation but appearance), bus stop details, tree savings or replacements, lighting and landscaping features within and beyond a 300 foot radius station area -these and other issues will be open for discussion.  In some cases, Expo will be working with LADOT or LAUSD on particular configurations (having to do with trees and sidewalks or the visual barrier/sound wall by Overland School).

The Westwood station has been designed with a center platform and pedestrian access from Westwood; pedestrians approaching from Overland will follow the pedestrian/bikepath to that ramp. (There will be an emergency exit to the east of the platform and, in future, if Cheviot Hills residents flock to the station in great numbers and press for PUC approval of a “betterment” regular access from the east, that can be achieved.)

There will be, as in Phase 1, an Urban Design Committee, and some 6 new appointments will be made to that committee.  That committee improved Phase 1 considerably, and the Phase 2 Design Committee meetings will, as before, be open to the public (one will need to check the Expo website to find the schedule of meetings).  Another opportunity to weigh in on final details will come with a Bicycle Advisory Committee, to be appointed in the next month.

We hope you find this information helpful, and, if you want to work more closely on these or other issues, please contact us.  We will notify you of future meetings focusing in on final design details of the Expo Line.

Cheers, Sarah Hays/Karen Leonard, Light Rail for Cheviot