Sneak Peak at Subway to the Sea Alternatives (Updated)

(Update: Darell Clarke has "official" higher resolution images of the alternatives at his personal blog LA Vision

The Daily News reported this morning that Metro has narrowed the list of alternative routes for the Red Line extension known as the Subway to the Sea from 17 in February to 4 that will be unveiled at public meetings starting tonight at 6 P.M.

The piece in the Daily News wasn’t just about potential routes, it also came with a warning. Without a new funding source, Metro doesn’t have the funds to build a $6.5 billion subway project.

Although the largest portion of Metro’s $3 billion budget – about $1.8 billion – comes from a one-cent sales tax, that money cannot be contributed toward tunneling for any subway because of a 1998 ban that was passed by 70 percent of voters.

Even if that prohibition were repealed, money from the sales tax is already committed to other projects on Metro’s long-range transit plans through 2030, Litvak said.

While Metro hasn’t put their most recent presentation online just yet, thanks to the descriptions in the Daily News article, I was able to go through past presentations to get the maps for each of the potential routes. The four alternative routes are available for viewing after the jump.

One proposal would put a subway almost entirely under Wilshire Boulevard from the Purple Line at Wilshire and Western Avenue to the Pacific Ocean.

It would swing around Century City, where thousands of daily passenger boardings could rival Union Station, said Jody Litvak, Metro’s regional community-relations manager.

Another plan also would pick up from the Purple Line and travel under Wilshire Boulevard. But then it would head north on Fairfax Avenue and west Beverly Drive to serve the Grove, Beverly Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. After leaving the hospital, it would return to Wilshire Boulevard, hit Century City and head to the coast.

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Two more subway plans include variations of the Wilshire Boulevard routes but also would involve a second train coming from the Red Line at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue and zipping below Santa Monica Boulevard to serve West Hollywood. The lines would converge on Wilshire Boulevard and head to the sea.

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All Images: Metro

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