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Old Posted Jul 1, 2009, 7:30 AM
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LOS ANGELES | Transportation News & Discussion

Measure R, the half-percent sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in November 2008, goes into effect today, marking the onset of an ambitious 30-year effort to expand and improve mass transit throughout Los Angeles County. Thus, I felt it appropriate to begin this thread on such a symbolic occasion. This thread will highlight projects beyond the scope of Measure R and will include all modes of public transport.
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Old Posted Jul 1, 2009, 7:32 AM
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L.A. Metro Breaks Ground on Metro Orange Line Extension to Chatsworth

First Official Measure R Construction Project Begins

June 24, 2009

Marking the first official project to begin construction under the new voter-approved Measure R transportation sales tax, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) today broke ground on a four-mile extension of the highly successful Metro Orange Line.

The extension of L.A. County’s premier dedicated busway will begin at the line’s current terminus in Canoga Park and extend four miles north to the Chatsworth Metrolink/Amtrak Station. The extension will add new north-south mobility options in the West San Fernando Valley and create a vital connection between Metro Orange Line service and the broader inter-urban rail system spanning all counties of Southern California and beyond.

City and county officials today met with Sully-Miller Contracting Co. at the Chatsworth Station for groundbreaking ceremonies on the first phase of construction – a north parking lot that will replace a south parking lot needed to accommodate current train passengers during construction. Later construction work on the alignment will commence in late 2009/early 2010. The busway extension is projected to open in mid-2012, more than three years ahead of schedule as a result of Measure R’s passage.

“Angelenos want more public transportation options, and we're making that a reality beginning with the extension of the Metro Orange Line,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Antonio Villaraigosa. “The voters made their voices heard loud and clear when they overwhelmingly passed Measure R, and now we're able to deliver this project three years ahead of schedule. This is the first of many projects now in the pipeline that will dramatically improve regional mobility, create news jobs and generate new economic opportunities for all Angelenos.”

L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Zev Zaroslavsky was among the first public officials within Los Angeles to advocate for a local dedicated Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. “The extension to Chatsworth will build on the success that has made the Metro Orange Line one of the most renowned busway projects in the nation,” Yaroslavsky said. “We’ve already proven that you can create a premium rapid bus service that is both affordable and flexible enough to serve the growing needs of today’s transit riders. Now even more commuters stand to benefit from connections with the Valley’s best short-cut.”

In November 2008, Measure R was approved by a two-thirds majority of voters, committing a projected $40 billion to traffic relief and transportation upgrades throughout the county over the next 30 years. The tax goes into effect July 1, 2009. While the project is a Measure R deliverable, it is expected to receive additional State funding that will free up Measure R project funding for later use in transportation improvements within the same subregion.

The tax measure will help fund dozens of critical transit and highway projects, create more than 210,000 new annual full-time equivalent construction jobs and infuse an estimated $32 billion back into the local economy, according to estimates by the nonprofit Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC).

The LAEDC also estimates that the $215.6 million construction phase of the Metro Orange Line Extension project will create 3,000 annual full-time equivalent jobs as well as infuse $461 million in direct and indirect business revenues back into the local economy.

When complete, the Metro Orange Line extension will transform the Metro-owned right-of-way into an attractive landscaped busway similar to the existing Metro Orange Line corridor. Major features will include four station stops at Sherman Way, Roscoe, Nordhoff and Chatsworth, a new 207-space park & ride facility at the Sherman Way Station, landscaping and parallel bicycle and pedestrian paths.

“I have worked for and supported the Metro Orange Line extension from day one," said L.A. City Council Member Greig Smith. “It will dramatically improve the public transit options available to residents and employees in the Northwest San Fernando Valley and Ventura County and offer safe, fast, inexpensive transportation in a few years, not decades.”

The design-build project also will include an elevated bridge at Lassen Street for buses to safely pass over Metrolink and Amtrak train tracks as they enter Chatsworth Station. Metro also will build privacy walls where the busway is built next to residential properties, as well as install new traffic signals and other roadway improvements.

The extension will provide high-capacity transit linkages between major local activity centers, and is expected to help relieve congestion on North-South arterial streets.

“The expansion of the Orange Line is going to benefit the northern part of the San Fernando Valley,” said L.A. City Council Member Dennis P. Zine. “Providing commuters with efficient transit options helps the entire community. The busway is going to move people more effectively between their residences, workplaces, schools, and shopping centers. The Metro Orange Line extension will also reduce negative environmental impacts by removing cars from the crowded roadways and saving fuel.”

Chatsworth Station has the second highest daily boardings on Metrolink’s 70-mile Oxnard to Los Angeles Ventura County Line, with 4,940 average weekday boardings. Only boardings at Metrolink’s Simi Valley Station are higher. Additionally, Amtrak’s San Diego to San Luis Obispo Pacific Surfliner trains logged nearly 54,000 boardings at Chatsworth Station last year. Other transit services at Chatsworth Station include several Metro Local bus lines, LADOT Commuter Express, Simi Valley Transit and Santa Clarita Transit.

“The Metro Orange Line extension is an example of regional cooperation that will create opportunities for Metrolink and Metro riders,” said Richard Katz, Metro Board Member and Metrolink Board Vice Chair. “The Chatsworth Metrolink station is becoming the place to go in the West Valley for all of your transit options.”

The Metro Orange line has exceeded ridership estimates since its first day of operation in October 2005. It carries an average of 22,000 boardings per day. By the year 2030, the extension is expected to generate 9,000 new average weekday boardings.
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Old Posted Sep 12, 2009, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westsidelife View Post

From the project list

1K - West Santa Ana Branch Corridor

Is L.A. really going to fund a rail line to Santa Ana? Does anyone have any details on this proposed line?
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Old Posted Sep 12, 2009, 2:04 AM
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^ Measure R only provides funds for the LA County portion of the line, because the sales tax only applies to LA County.
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Old Posted Sep 12, 2009, 2:31 AM
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Metro to Hold Public Hearings on Crenshaw Transit Corridor Project

Community to Review DEIS/DEIR Document

September 11, 2009

After two years of studying options for a new transit system for the Crenshaw Corridor, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is encouraging public comment on draft environmental documents at four public hearings scheduled throughout the community in late September and early October.

These hearings provide the opportunity for the public to comment on the modal alternatives, Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), and design options being considered in the Draft Environment Impact Statement/Draft Environment Impact Report (DEIS/DEIR) for a critical transportation project that will serve the communities along the heavily traversed Crenshaw Corridor as well as the South Bay and the region as a whole.

These communities have historically been underserved by transit investments, and the project will not only improve local mobility but also will generate jobs directly and indirectly for the entire region.

The project is a major north-south investment in the Crenshaw District area, potentially providing relief for the I-405 and I-110 Freeways. It also will be a major connection to LAX connecting the Metro Green Line to the south and the Expo Line to the north and potentially to the Wilshire Corridor (bus rapid transit only). The project would provide connections to the entire Metro Rail system and its more than 2,100 peak-hour buses.

The study area for the Crenshaw Corridor Project includes the cities of Los Angeles, Inglewood, Hawthorne, El Segundo and portions of unincorporated Los Angeles County and covers approximately a 33-square mile area from Wilshire Boulevard to the north, El Segundo Boulevard to the South, Arlington Avenue on the east and Sepulveda Boulevard and La Tijera Boulevard/La Brea Avenue on the west. Download: Crenshaw Corridor Project map.

The BRT alternative is 12 miles in length with the travel times estimated at 28 to 30 minutes from the Metro Green Line to the Expo Line or 39 to 41 minutes from Metro Green Line to Wilshire Boulevard/Western Avenue. There will be eight stations along the alignment with up to four stations north of Exposition Boulevard to Wilshire/Western. Cost is estimated at $500 million to $600 million in today’s dollars. The jobs created during the construction phase are estimated to be 3,500.

The LRT alternative will be 8.5 miles in length with the travel times estimated at 20 minutes from the Metro Green Line to Expo Line. This alternative provides for seven stations plus an option for one more. The base cost of the project is estimated at $1.3 billion in today’s dollars. Various design options cost between $11 million to $255 million and would add to the total project cost. Job creation is estimated at 7,800.

Funding will come from Measure R, the half-cent sales tax initiative approved by voters last November to improve the region’s mobility and create the transportation infrastructure needed to help resolve traffic congestion, air pollution and enhance economic development in Los Angeles County.

Comments received at the upcoming public hearings will help determine the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) that will move into final environmental clearance for the Crenshaw Transit Corridor Project. Based on the environmental document and comments received, the Metro Board of Directors will select the LPA later this year.

The complete listing of public hearings is as follows:

  • Wilshire United Methodist Church Hall of Fellowship: Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009, 6-8 p.m.; 4350 Wilshire Blvd., LA, CA 90010; served by Metro Bus lines 38, 210, 710.
  • West Angeles Church Crystal Room: Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009, 6-8 p.m.; 3045 Crenshaw Blvd., LA, CA 90016; served by Metro Bus lines 38, 210, 710.
  • Inglewood High School Cafeteria: Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009, 10 a.m.-Noon; 231 S. Grevillea Ave., Inglewood, CA 90301; served by Metro Bus lines 40, 111, 115, 212, 740;
  • Transfiguration Church Hall: Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2009, 6-8 p.m.; 2515 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., LA, CA 90008; served by Metro Bus lines 40, 42.

At the beginning of each meeting, there will be an open house format where Metro will provide the public opportunities to speak with project representatives and view study display maps and the environmental document. After a project presentation, including its purpose and need, Metro will request public input through the submission of written and verbal comments.

Metro encourages public participation in the critical process of determining the Crenshaw Corridor’s transit future and its relationship to the quality of life in the corridor communities.

Those unable to attend the meetings can submit their comments in writing to Roderick Diaz, Metro Planning Project Manager, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), Mail Stop 99-22-3, One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Comments may also be submitted through e-mail at diazroderick@metro.net or by phone on the project information line at (213) 922-2736. Comments should be received no later than Monday, October 26, 2009 by 5 p.m. More project information and a downloadable version of the DEIS/DEIR are available at www.metro.net/crenshaw
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Old Posted Sep 12, 2009, 7:11 PM
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[QUOTE=Westsidelife;4451982]^ Measure R only provides funds for the LA County portion of the line, because the sales tax only applies to LA County.[/QUOTE

That's what I thought, but the name of the line suggests otherwise. Hopefully OCTA will extend this line all the way to Santa Ana.
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Old Posted Jul 1, 2009, 8:31 AM
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Cool video of the subway portion of the Gold Line Eastside Extension...

Video Link
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Old Posted Jul 1, 2009, 4:23 PM
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I've never heard of the west Santa Ana Branch corridor before, so I have a few questions:

Is it going to be AG Light Rail?

Also, it's ever extended into Orange County, will it stop at the Santa Ana Metrolink station nearby?
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Old Posted Jul 1, 2009, 9:23 PM
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Quote:
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Is it going to be AG Light Rail?
It is currently being studied as a potential grade-separated maglev corridor, but that is not the best option IMO because of the greater stop spacing it would require.

Quote:
Also, it's ever extended into Orange County, will it stop at the Santa Ana Metrolink station nearby?
Yes.
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Old Posted Jul 1, 2009, 6:52 PM
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Is it at all on the table that the orange line might eventually become rail?
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Old Posted Jul 1, 2009, 9:37 PM
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Is it at all on the table that the orange line might eventually become rail?
Yes, but that won't be for a while. The Valley already has Metrolink service, so BRT will feed into it. Would I say it's an effective transit solution, probably not. It'll do for now, though.
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Old Posted Jul 2, 2009, 1:00 AM
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Yes, but that won't be for a while. The Valley already has Metrolink service, so BRT will feed into it. Would I say it's an effective transit solution, probably not. It'll do for now, though.
And if turned into a AG Light Rail, won't it be connected to the Gold Line?
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Old Posted Jul 2, 2009, 1:11 AM
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^ No, it would connect with the Red Line in NoHo.
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Old Posted Jul 5, 2009, 7:48 PM
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^ No, it would connect with the Red Line in NoHo.
The Orange Line already connects with the Red Line. I'm talking about using the, 134 and 210 to connect with the Gold Line in Pasadena...

Extend it to the Whitnall ROW. Go down the ROW as Below grade (avoiding the demolition of overhead Powerlines, Parks, and most importantly, homes) to Alameda and Olive with an Underground Station (lots of infill potential there), and then use the 134/210 all the way to Pasadena at the Gold Line Holly Station
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Old Posted Jul 1, 2009, 11:12 PM
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JULY 1, 2009 | Expo Line

From The Transit Coalition:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gokhan
Here is an exhilarating Expo development. These pictures are taken at Normandie Ave looking west this morning. They are laying subballast (fine gravel), which is the first phase of track installation. The next will be putting ties and rail and pouring ballast (coarse gravel) on top of it.





Also in the pictures notice the right-of-way curbs as well as the ballast-retaining curbs. Between the right-of-way curbs and ballast-retaining curbs will be landscaping.

I've also noticed work going on La Brea bridge west abutment and east bridge forms. They have cast the curbs for the Ballona Creek street bridge. Also, power lines at La Cienega seem to have been gone, except for some low-hanging lines east of the street, which seem to be fiber-optic lines, hence they are not dangerous to work near with and probably will not be removed as a result.

A lot of utility work is still taking place near Vermont Ave, which probably won't be completed for another two moths at the least. Phase 1 utility work has been extensive, probably because the line is adjacent to the East Central Interceptor Sewer.
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Old Posted Jul 2, 2009, 12:57 AM
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^ I thought the gravel comes before the track layout?
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Old Posted Jul 2, 2009, 6:50 AM
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I wish Metro would implement more BRT's in the basin; Venice, Slauson, La Brea, etc, would all benefit from a BRT. Bus transit on those routes (well, anything west of Western, really), is a real pain, and something like an Orange Line on any one of the main streets over there would make using transit infinitely times easier.

Oh, and what is ever going to be done with Vermont? Severely overcrowded buses running at ridiculous frequencies (3-4 minutes during rush hour). If Metro really cared about poor folks, they'd be tunneling something down Vermont, instead of pursuing an LRT down the relatively affluent Crenshaw Blvd (especially seeing how the Crenshaw Rapid doesn't even have 15,000 riders; Vermont has 50,000+, not counting subway transfers from the several stations along its route).
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Old Posted Jul 2, 2009, 9:29 AM
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^ LA could use a streetcar system similar to the one in Toronto. Perhaps a resurrection of the Red Car system?

As for Vermont, the ultimate transit solution is an HRT extension of the Red Line. It would definitely be much more cost-effective than Crenshaw, but I certainly wouldn't underestimate the potential ridership with all the connections. Here's what it could ultimately end up becoming:


By Wright Concept
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Old Posted Jul 2, 2009, 9:49 AM
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BTW, this is the MTA's Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), though it is slightly dated:

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