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October 10, 2005

Which way to the west side?

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is planning for a new line to go from downtown to the west side, and one of the more logical places to put it is through the Wilshire Boulevard corridor, which is congested and lined with shopping and businesses. But it would have to be an expensive subway line, and there is local opposition to the project. My guess would be the short-term construction impacts (which can be significant to a small businesses, which unfortunately often do not have the room in their budget to care about the greater future of the area) and the given the neighborhoods, some vague sense that they don't need transit, they have cars - even if they have to spend much time sitting in them in traffic.

So the MTA is looking at a light rail line shifted a bit south on some railroad right-of-way, in some not quite so densely populated neighborhoods. They say there is be enough ridership on this alternative route, and the future will bring even more riders to these other neighborhoods.

I'm not an expert on Los Angeles, I only lived in San Francisco for a while. This alternative routing sounds like it might be a good choice given the funding constraints. But what happens in the Wilshire Boulevard corridor in ten or twenty years as the congestion only gets worse? Maybe the development of this transit line will reduce some of the pressure on Wilshire. I guess we will find out eventually.

Post Author: csa | 03:47 PM | Link | TrackBacks

My G-d, this is so idiotic. Just like what Baltimore did - instead of building a subway along the Charles/St. Paul Sts/York Road corridor, they built a light rail down in the valley where no one lives.

SO LA is going to have FOUR incompatible rail systems now?

Posted by: Frank IBC at October 10, 2005 08:50 PM

Also, as far as I'm concerned, Metro made a big mistake in routing the eastern Red Line along the B&O tracks, and also with the routing of the northern Green Line.

Metro should have routed what is now the Green Line straight up 7th Street/Georgia Avenue (possibly with a dogleg over and back to 14th Street) out to Silver Spring, and routed the Red Line out either Rhode Island or Michigan Avenue through Hyattsville to College Park.

Basically the subways should have just followed the old trolley lines.

And the Blue/Yellow lines should have gone under Washington Street through the heart of Old Town, not along the railroad along the fringe.

Posted by: Frank IBC at October 10, 2005 08:56 PM

I'm sure it was much, much cheaper to run Metro along the CSX right of way than to tunnel thru Old Town. Plus I don't know if that was the approach planners were taking - given the fact that Arlington County had to persuade WMATA to run the Orange Line under Wilson/Clarendon Boulevards rather than along I-66, it probably wasn't.

Posted by: Matt at October 11, 2005 02:43 PM
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