Starting last night and continuing tomorrow, Metro began a series of outreach meetings for the "scoping" of the potential Green Line Extension to Torrance. Before we get into the details of the study, let's put down some basics on the project. No, this is not a competing project with the Green Line extension to LAX. Yes, this is a Measure R and "30/10" project, with $272 million in Measure R dollars already set aside for the project.
While Metro already identified a preferred alternative for the Green Line Extension, extending the current Green Line light rail along the route to Torrance that appears on the right was selected as the "Locally Preferred Alternative" in the Alternatives Analysis (AA) study; the meetings that are currently underway are a chance for the public to help Metro identify the issues and concerns that need to be examined throughout the environmental process. Metro also has to weigh other alternatives to the preferred one, which include a "no build" option, an option of improving the streets instead of the rail, and using an abandoned freight right-of-way and new tracks to get from LAX/El Segundo down to Torrance.
The goal of the extension is to provide an alternative to driving on the I-405 in this area. The proposed alignment to Torrance seems a good alternative, as it runs parallel to the I-405. The extension isn't just to provide access to the Green Line, but by the time construction is underway it will be easy to connect the Green Line to the completed Expo Line and provide access from Torrance all the way to Downtown Santa Monica or Los Angeles. For transportation planners that have been waiting for decades for a truly connected rail system for L.A. County, this is an exciting step.
So what issues might arise during the scoping and planning for this project? While there's no entrenched opposition to the extension, there are always some areas that are ripe for debate. Fore example. the current design calls for a train similar to the North County Transit District's Sprinter trains, which might have trouble ingegrating with the existing Green Line Service.
Both The Source and Daily Breeze have written articles on the hearings. Feel free to check them out, or for more information on the meetings, read on after the jump.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 (6-8 p.m.) North Redondo Senior Center, Perry Park, 2308 Rockefeller Lane, Redondo Beach.
Saturday, May 1, 2010 (10 a.m. - 12n) Lawndale City Hall, 14717 Burin Avenue, Lawndale.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010 (6-8 p.m.) Automobile Driving Museum, 610 Lairport Street, El Segundo.