Renderings of proposed Westwood/VA Station for Westside Subway Extension

In my weekly column yesterday I wrote about the benefits and challenges of the proposed Westwood/VA station for the Westside Subway Extension. Above and below are a couple of preliminary station entrance renderings that I thought readers would like to see.

In the above drawing, that’s Wilshire Boulevard cutting diagonally across the left side of the screen and Bonsall Avenue passes undernearth Wilshire. The stop for Wilshire buses is on the bridge above Bonsall. In the drawing below, Wilshire Boulevard can be glimpsed on the far left and the parking lot for the VA Hospital is on the right.

 

 

50 replies

  1. They are setting up the same situation at the VA that exists at the horrible transfer from the Orange Line to the Red Line in North Hollywood. Get off the bus. Walk to the Intersection. Wait for a light. Cross a very busy street. Walk some more to the entrance to the station. I still don’t understand why they haven’t upgraded the transfer to the Red Line given the success of the Orange Line. The knockout boxes are in place for an entrance that would take the customers under Lankershim and directly into the station. I would like to think Metro would learn from that mistake and not repeat it at the VA.

    Like

  2. No one is going to use that station as-is. It needs either a massive parking garage to attract drivers from places further west and/or a better bus connection (neither of which are likely due to the area’s constraints). That underpass will make transfers miserable, and sticking the terminal station in the middle of the VA rules out any direct north/south bus connections. It’s in the middle of a no-man’s land so I wouldn’t expect many walkers or bikers no matter how much you try and woo them.

    If the point of building this station was to get the Purple Line west of the 405, it’s not really accomplishing that goal. It’s barely 500 feet west from the 405 on-ramps – that’s completely caught up in the very mess this station is supposed to help people avoid. These renderings make it easier to understand why this station location has been so disliked since day 1.

    Like

  3. David, Metro just applied for nearly $18 million in federal funding (out of a $22 million project budget) to construct an underground pedestrian connector between the Metro Orange Line boarding platform and the Metro NoHo subway station that will allow passengers to avoid the busy crossing on Lankershim Boulevard. If successful in getting the grant, the Connector would open in June 2014.

    Like

  4. When I read about this location I couldn’t remember it being at all pedestrian friendly, so I looked at it on Google maps and I thought perhaps Metro was planning to open the portal up into one of the park areas to the east of here (by removing the fences and adding foot paths). If that’s not possible for legal reasons, how about building a new public park on the surface lot directly south of this location?

    At the very least, Metro could do a better job of reconfiguring the roadway to better serve pedestrians at this location (instead of the highway layout that is there now). What an awful place for the elderly or the handicapped with that dank underpass, skinny sidewalks and dangerous off-ramp style street crossings (both look unsignalized and the one in the background doesn’t even have a marked crosswalk!)

    This resembles a commuter bus stop in Valencia. Just another off limits, buffer-landscaped area to zip through at 45mph like so much of this backwards city. If Metro is bound to this sprawling location, than the station absolutely needs to be pedestrian oriented with some places for people to sit in the grass, park benches, water fountains, extra wide sidewalks and inviting foot paths to connect all the various points that one has to walk to from such an inconvenient stop.

    Like

  5. If this is the prime location Metro needs to work with the VA to build a VA annex structure/subway entrance at this island instead of a park like hole in the ground to the subway.

    Dedicated skywalks to the main VA building and the opposite side of Wilshire are needed too instead of street level pedestrian crossings. This area has a lot of car traffic and the streets are very wide here to get to the other side; having street level crosswalks will only add to traffic jams as they wait for pedestrians to cross.

    Like

  6. The VA has generally frowned on non-veterans activities on their grounds. So any TOD would not work. That onramp separating the station from the hospital grounds just looks hazardous, and the lack of any bus turnaround area means that all those buses driving down Wilshire continue into Westwood mostly empty, continuing to clog traffic in the process. If the station was at Federal or Barrington, you could have a place for buses to turnaround from Brentwood and Sawtelle, and they do not clog Wilshire through the VA grounds. Also the sidewalk on Wilshire next to the VA is going to be very congested with all of those people making that half mile walk to civilization. This really needs to go back to the drawing board, and in the meantime the VA can still be used for temporary staging.

    Like

  7. Adam,

    That’s great news! Thanks for taking the time to update me (us). That upgrade to the transfer point will definitely be an upgrade worthy of the $$$! I hope they receive the grant.

    Like

  8. Clearly the ONLY things that would make this station necessary would be the added value of lot of parking for the many Westsiders who would either refuse to connect using bus or have it NOT be practical nor efficient to connect by bus. The other thing that would give this station value is if it were the connection to a rail line along or in the median of the 405. However, neither seems to be in sight, so now it is a station without a “nation.” Our only hope for such a wasteful expenditure for this station is if in 25 years, that 405 rail line finally breaks ground and our kids can say how “wise” we were to build it for NO USEFUL purpose, but it sure worked out well form them a quarter century later.

    Like

  9. I would add that to make this station work, it ought to be re-named the “Brentwood” station and have a modern streetcar serving the station heading into the heart of the Brentwood village. Said streetcar could extended for direct service to the VA Hospital, saving our wounded veterans the long walk.

    Like