Metro Opens North Hollywood Pedestrian Underpass for Orange and Red Lines

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Officials cut the orange ribbon on the Orange Line side of the new North Hollywood pedestrian underpass. Left to right: Ray Tellis, Federal Transit Administration, Paul Krekorian, L.A. City Councilmember, John Fasana, Metro Board chair, Tony Cardenas, U.S. Congressmember, Eric Garcetti, city of L.A. Mayor, Stephanie Wiggins, Metro, and Jess Talamantes, city of Burbank Mayor. Photos: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Metro riders transferring between the Orange and Red Lines will find their commutes improved today. Today, the agency opened its new North Hollywood Station Underpass project, which includes new elevators, escalators, and fare gates. The $22 million underpass was funded in part by a $10 million federal TIGER grant.

The new tunnel was celebrated by elected officials including Metro Board chair, John Fasana, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, U.S. Congressmember Tony Cardenas, and L.A. City Councilmember Paul Krekorian. Speakers emphasized the safety and convenience of the undercrossing. According to Metro staff reports [PDF], the tunnel will save riders approximately 44 seconds on each transfer between the Red and Orange Lines. Krekorian announced that the recently renovated historic Lankershim Depot will re-open this fall, including a small park next to the new tunnel entrance.

Photos of the opening and the tunnel after the jump. 

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Congressman Tony Cardenas emphasized the need to invest in infrastructure
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A red ribbon was cut on the Red Line end of the tunnel
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View of the tunnel from the North Hollywood Red Line Station
  • Walt Arrrrr

    Let’s not forget that this $22 million project exists because motor traffic is prioritized on Lankershim Blvd.

  • Sorry, how is this a “tunnel”, or an “underpass”? The station mezzanine was and is under Lankershim. What was built was a two-stage stairs and elevator to the mezzanine, with space for a few TAP vending machines.

    Anyone trying to use this as a way to avoid crossing Lankershim at grade will have to pay $1.75 for the privilege, unless a two-hour transfer is already loaded on the TAP card.

    And like Walt Arrrr points out, this is due to prioritization of Motorists on Lankershim and could have been completed for pennies on the dollar had it been built as part of the original North Hollywood/Zev Yaroslavsky station. Let’s hope Metro remembers this when designing and building the future underground stations.

  • Dennis_Hindman

    I passed by there at 8 PM last night and thought I would investigate it. I took one of the two elevators that are on the Orange Line side of the street. There is no escalator that goes down, only up. I didn’t see anyone else using this portal besides myself. When I got back to street level I noticed that several people were crossing Lankershim Blvd at several different points without the use of a crosswalk (the crosswalk was removed) to get to the Orange Line from the subway side. There is a crosswalk that will take you from the subway side to the north side of Chandler Blvd and from there you have to cross Chandler Blvd, or you can walk to the end of the block to Chandler Blvd that is to the south in order to cross Lankershim Blvd. These people were taking the direct route, which was to just walk cross Lankershim Blvd when there is no motor vehicle traffic to get to the Orange Line station. That tells me that there are a lot of customers who don’t yet understand that they do not have to walk across Lankershim Blvd from the subway to get to the Orange Line. At this point these changes seem to have made walking between these two transit stations more dangerous, not less.

  • M

    I see the same thing happen at Universal since the bridge was installed and the crosswalk was removed. Part of the problem is that removing those crosswalks assumes that the only people using them are using the main forms of transportation they were built to accommodate and that all the people using public transportation realize they are there.

  • Joe Linton

    It bugs me that the crosswalk was moved… so people making a bus transfer to the Orange Line need to cross two legs now (or go underground and then come back up), instead of just one crosswalk.

  • calwatch

    The crosswalk which was directly between the Orange Line and Red Line was removed as part of the construction activity and to squeeze in a protected left turn signal from NB Lankershim to WB Chandler (north half). The crosswalks on the north side of the Chandler (south half) / Lankershim intersection, as far as I recall from looking at the plans, remained. If they removed that and created a three legged intersection for no reason, that is wrong, but my recollection is that this crosswalk (which during construction was the exit route from Orange Line to Red Line or bus) remains in place.

  • Dennis_Hindman

    There used to be a crosswalk that was a very direct route from the Orange Line station across Lankershim Blvd to the North Hollywood Red Line subway station. That no longer exists. Now there is a crosswalk that starts on the next block north of the Orange Line, on the north side of Chandler Blvd, that goes across Lankershim Blvd to the Red Line station. There is also a crosswalk at the south end of the block where the Orange Line is for people to cross Lankershim Blvd. The LADOT is trying to discourage people from making the most direct route to and from the Orange Line and Red Line station by crossing Lankershim Blvd.

    The crosswalk from the Universal subway station across Lankershim Blvd to Universal Studios was also removed. You have to use the pedestrian bridge to cross the street at that location or else risk getting hit by a motor vehicle trying to cross outside of a crosswalk. That again is an attempt by the LADOT to try and stop people from walking across Lankershim Blvd where the Universal subway station is located.

  • M

    Actually I just took a look at the Universal Bridge last night – based on the “PROOF OF VALID FARE REQUIRED” signs near the the escalators, elevators stairs for the bridge, it doesn’t look like normal community members can use the bridge without potentially being ticketed.

  • And let us never forget that removed crosswalk was one that LADOT fought tooth and nail to not install in the first place.