Expo Update: And Twenty Years Later, Ground Was Broken
Sometime in the late 1980′s, the last Southern Pacific Freight train rumbled along Exposition Boulevard in West L.A. and Santa Monica before voters passed Proposition C and the newly formed Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority purchased the entire right of way. What followed was two decades of studies, public hearings, lawsuits, Phase I of the Expo Line going through what seemed an infitinte amount of delays and passage of a new transit tax (Measure R).
Earlier today, a groundbreaking ceremony in Santa Monica, at the terminus (or start, depending your point of view) marked the beginning of the end. The Expo Line Phase II, from Culver City to Santa Monica is under construction. When it’s completed, transit riders will be able to hop a light rail in Downtown Santa Monica and travel to Downtown Los Angeles or vice-versa.
We’ve talked about Expo Planning, Expo Construction, Expo Lawsuits, the Expo Bike Lane, Expo Crossings, Expo Phase I delays, and probably one hundred other Expo subjects in the three and a half years that L.A. Streetsblog has published. For today, we’re going to take a cue from Darrell Clarke, the founder of Friends for Expo Transit. Clarke might not be in the above picture holding a shovel, but he’s done more than anyone to push the line from an idea to construction.
When I asked him his thoughts on the groundbreaking, he emailed, “For me, after 22 years as an advocate I’m just happy to see it coming along this far.”
So instead of talking about any issues or concerns with the line, we’re going to just take a break to enjoy the groundbreaking for West L.A. and Santa Monica’s first rail transit line. Instead of any sort of debate, we’re just going to say, “Hello Expo. Welcome to the neighborhood.”