Last week we posed the question: should the Westside subway have a Crenshaw station? Emails poured in from readers eager to share their opinion, hence this special edition of our reader email roundup.
Remember, Metro is holding a community meeting on March 17th about this very issue. If you can’t make it, send your opinions to WestsideExtension@metro.net or post them on the new Westside Subway Extension page on Facebook where they will recorded as an official part of the study.
Our first reader email from Catherine Crahan of Windsor Square brings up a good point about the timing of this important meeting:
Your meeting is on Saint Patrick’s day, so I guess you don’t want any Irish to attend. So I will vote now! A big yes to the Crenshaw station. Make sure you plan for adequate parking for commuters.
Another Windsor Square resident, reader M.Z., chimes in about the potential development opportunities of having a Crenshaw station:
Not only does it make sense for the Windsor Square area in terms of practicality it will most likely promote positive development in and around that part of Wilshire. We need more restaurants, stores and mom and pop businesses in that area.
Count me as a YES for the wilshire/crenshaw station.
The temporary disruption caused is worth the long term gain.
Reader Justin Walker gives us a little history lesson:
When the original Wilshire subway was being planned in the 80’s, both the Hollywood Bowl and Wilshire/Crenshaw stations were originally considered optional stations. By the completion of the Final EIR/EIS in 1983, both were officially accepted as part of the project because demand justified them.It would be safe to say density has increased since the 1980’s. If a Crenshaw station was justified in the 1983, one could claim it would definitely be justified now. (Of course, this argument is based on a single broad statement and ignores all other variables involved.)
Justin also did a little sleuthing and found a map from the Final EIR/EIS in 1983 depicting the Crenshaw station along the alignment:
Tibbit Thomas writes:
We need to figure out where the crenshaw light rail is going to end and have the station there. Because Crenshaw and Wilshire doesn’t need a station if the light rail ends some where else.
There are no current plans to extend the Crenshaw Line to the north and the Crenshaw Corridor Northern Segment Feasibility Study indicated that it would probably be better to bring that line up to Wilshire west of Crenshaw, possibly at La Brea, Fairfax or San Vicente.
Why not put a station on Rossmore instead of Crenshaw? It seems to be the logical half-way point between Western and La Brea. That will give access to Hollywood and Hancock Park.
While a valid point, I think a quick glance at a Google Map of the intersection makes it clear why a Rossmore station isn’t being considered: the intersection is home to a lot of, well, homes. High value single family homes at that (like Fremont Place, I’m sure you’ve seen the iconic columns). Remember, one of the reasons the Crenshaw station is not a sure thing yet is because the surrounding areas are mostly low-density residential and there are worries that these residential communities will be resistant to new development the subway may bring to their quiet neighborhoods. It’s also worth bearing in mind that another reason that Crenshaw is being considered is because it’s one of the two properties along the alignment that Metro currently owns.
Greg Facktor of Hancock Park actually lives on Rossmore and casts his vote for the Crenshaw Station:
We believe there should absolutely YES be a station at Crenshaw. For two reasons:
1) There are currently three Rapid Bus lines that serve that intersection – one up Rossmore, one down Wilshire and one south on Crenshaw. Thereferore, the intersection is already a major transit intersection.
2) If a station is not built, we would have to travel in excess of three miles to the nearest station. We already use the subway a lot to travel to downtown, or to Universal City. If we could access a subway six blocks away, we would use it (often) to shop in Beverly Hills, get haircuts in Brentwood, see films in Westwood, and take it to the beach.
This would add substantial equity to those proximate to the subway and would potentially allow us to become a one-car household.
We lived in D.C. when they built the subway there. We lived in Georgetown when that neighborhood was “concerned” about the type of folks that would be “brought into” the neighborhood by the subway trains. 20 years later, Georgetown is clogged in traffic and homeowners wish they had a subway option. One thing they forgot – it serves those who live there. If someone was going to come into Hancock Park to “rob” a house, they are not going to be able to carry stolen goods such as a TV set onto a train.
It is good to note that the City of Beverly Hills, once fought the subway, and now better understands its benefits. They strongly support it now, and are advocating for 2-3 stations in their city. Handcock Park, and Windsor Square residents should do the same.
Derek M. agrees that without a Crenshaw station Hancock Park and Windsor Square residents will be less likely to ride. There’s one resident in particular he thinks could make good use of the station:
I strongly support the idea of station on Crenshaw Blvd. Most urban planners will tell you the typical maximum walking distance to a heavy or light rail station in one half mile, meaning without a Crenshaw station, many residents will be less willing to use the subway. Also there is one residency close by that is of notable importance. Getty house is no more than a block away, and I personally would love to see a future mayor take the subway to City Hall every day. It would serve
as a great example to Angelenos that public transportation is a safe, reliable, and effective means of transportation.
Antonio Lowry Edward has some interesting ideas to save money and add a potential future connection the the Crenshaw light rail line:
One thing to think about is the location of the station. If we can save $200 million, then why not only spend $10-$50 million? Hear me out!!!Can we build a box that is not a complete station altogether, but make room for a real station later? Can we include a two story station, sort of like how 7th/Metro is built, but for the Crenshaw line? If we build a station that is capable of future expansion, then it won’t cost a whole lot to build the station there in the future. The station at Crenshaw/Wilshire can open for the Purple line when the Crenshaw Line opens for the public. Now, one thing though: which one will open first? Who knows! OR, the Crenshaw Line can be directed over to Wilshire/Western which would solve the Crenshaw issue altogether. Just a thought.
The consensus from readers so far seems to be a resounding yes to a Crenshaw station. Do you feel differently? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.