Metro is currently studying extending its coming Crenshaw/LAX light-rail line, which is expected to open year, further north to Mid-City, West Hollywood and Hollywood. This Northern Extension would provide a mighty north-south rail transit corridor connecting four rail lines (Green, Expo, Red and Purple) — five if you count the Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project under study.
Following this Feasibility/Alternatives Analysis of five potential alignments for the Northern Extension (seen below), Metro will now preparing an Advanced Alternatives Screening Study to gather public input and further analyze the five alignments to help determine which alternatives will be studied further in a subsequent environmental analysis.
Measure M allocates $2.24 billion to the project, with a groundbreaking date of 2041 and project completion date of 2047. Metro is conducting this study now as there are efforts underway to identify funding to accelerate this schedule. ALL projects look for additional funding to speed construction. Please do not be daunted by the currently scheduled completion date. That can and will be moved up. This project can certainly be made shovel ready soon.
Metro has been holding a series of community meetings about this project. I went to the first one and it was exciting to see a room full of people eager and excited for a Metrorail project to be built and built soon.
One of the things I learned is that Metro expects this line when completed to be one of the heaviest used light rail lines in the country, with its connection to five Metro rail lines, LAX, Hollywood, West Hollywood, and major bus corridors. That sounds like an excellent reason to find the funding to speed up construction, doesn’t it? Perhaps even by the Olympics in 2028.
One of the things mentioned by Metro is that the further west the proposed alignment, the more job centers that are accessed by it. When I inquired if the alternative analysis had studied nighttime ridership, they mentioned it had not. We know that this area has a large number of nighttime riders and employment. Any late night ride on a crowded 4/704 bus will tell you that. Hopefully, Metro will choose alignment A or B. C is another meritable choice. My personal opinion is that LaBrea is too far east and misses too many ridership generators such as The Grove, Cedar Sinai hospital, and the Beverly Center. Also, based on these numbers in the Feasibility Analysis I would be surprised if the Vermont alignment makes it any farther in the studies for this project. There is, however, a separate Vermont Corridor project underway.
Metro has one more community meeting scheduled for this phase of the process — Thursday, March 28, 2019, 6 – 8 p.m. West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90069. Accessible via: DASH, West Hollywood Cityline and Metro bus lines 4, 10, 16, 30, 105 and 704. There is limited street parking and a parking lot available.
EDITED TO ADD: I attended the March 28th meeting and heard the following: “The Fairfax alignment accesses twice the number of jobs as the La Brea alignment, and the La Cienega / San Vicente alignments have twice the number of that.”
Please check out Metro’s website for the Crenshaw Northern Extension at metro.net/crenshawnorth and if you cannot attend, please let Metro know by email that you support this project and which alignment you support (hopefully “A/B” or at least “C”) at firstname.lastname@example.org.