AEG proposes $10-million contribution to Metro to expand Pico Station to serve Farmers Field

The Pico Station that serves the Blue Line and Expo Line. Photo: Google Maps.

AEG released a draft environmental impact study on Thursday on its proposed football stadium adjacent to Staples Center and L.A. Live. The transportation chapter in section one of the report discusses a wide range of transportation impacts and includes this:

Mitigation Measure B.1-1: Prior to issuance of a building permit for the Event Center, the Event Center Applicant shall enter into an agreement with Metro requiring the Event Center Applicant to make a one-time, fixed contribution of $10,000,000 to Metro to improve the Pico Metro Station prior to the operation of the Event Center. The Pico Metro Station, located on Flower Street between 12th Street and Pico Boulevard one block from the Project Site, is currently a single platform station with limited capacity access to the platform from the east sidewalk of Flower Street. Metro will use the Event Center Applicant’s contribution to (a) add a second platform parallel to the existing Pico Metro Station platform, and (b) refurbish the existing station platform to improve the passenger handling capacity.

Metro, of course, would ultimately have to approve of a platform expansion before it happens.

As we wrote in this morning’s headlines, AEG is also proposing a number of other mitigations for any traffic impacts from a new football stadium. Among them: giving patrons the chance to buy transit tickets when purchasing game tickets online, widening and/or restriping streets and widening a mile-long stretch of the Hollywood Freeway, using a smartphone app to guide motorists to parking and running shuttles between downtown parking lots and the stadium. There are also two new parking garages planned.

18 replies

  1. Ok, to begin with – I think building the stadium in an ALREADY-DENSE area is a dumb idea! (isn’t Los Angeles big enough?.. and couldn’t they find a more suitable, less-dense area that would accommodate the stadium in a much better way?) Alright, so the stadium in the middle of Downtown has been (unfortunately) approved. But how are they exactly going to “expand” the station? Adding just platform capacity will not work, because the stations already are long enough to serve 3-car trains. In order for the light-rail system to meet the projected demand that may skyrocket with opening of the stadium, service FREQUENCIES will drastically need to be improved! Is AEG going to pay for the added trains on the Blue line? I highly doubt it… And adding platform capacity WITHOUT adding more trains makes no sense.
    Just some food for thought…

  2. Metro should not pass this opportunity up. A $10 million upgrade to the Pico Station would be a grandiose improvement than the tiny platform that exists today especially when Metro’s budget is so tight that it has no funding for existing station improvements.

    Such a small station would not be adequate to handle the needs of all the events happening at LA Live, Nokia Theater, Staples Center, LA Convention Center and the future Farmers Field.

  3. This sounds like a win win since the Expo will essentially double traffic at that station which can be a proper riot after a game, and an actual riot if the lakers win the championship.

  4. Good stuff. I was beginning to wonder how that small station would be addressed in order to handle ever increasing capacity. And additionally with a station like this expected to have high capacity, crowds of people should not have to cross the tracks to get to the platform like the way its currently set up. There should be a pedestrian bridge over the tracks as well as adjacent flower street which would result in a much safer and more sensible set-up. The trains would also be able to arrive and depart the station more swiftly because the operators don’t have to fear groups of people crossing in front of the train trying to get to the platform at the last second. It’s one thing with lightly used stations but with this station it will probably end up being the most heavily used at-grade station in LA.

    Side note: is metro or LADOT ever going to address the intersection/signal delay that trains experience at pico? Half the time trains sit at the light waiting to cross pico either entering or departing the station. Do we really need to let just that many more cars through at the expense of the train? Also, considering the importance of this station, many tourists and out-of-towners will use it but they will see metro trains waiting for cross traffic. This will negatively impact the image of our metro system and possibly affect ridership. I really think this issue is often overlooked as part of metro operations and needs to be addressed once and for all. Also, our at-grade lines could all shave many minutes off their run time if this sort of thing was fixed. My two cents.

  5. This is good, but they really need a pedestrian bridge over the street. I think this could be done for maybe half a million dollars more and would have a huge effect on organizing a sensible and safe queue for the metro after games. I think it’s great that they’re looking to put a station downtown. Somewhere less dense means people will have to drive further on average, and won’t have good public transportation options. With the current location, anywhere on the metro/metrolink network is your stadium parking lot.

  6. I live near the Pico Station and use the Metro whenever possible. It does need to be expanded when it is busy and easier access too from different directions. I am 100% for this and the only people that could be against it are the fools who refuse to use public transportation.

    I lived 2 blocks from the proposed Farmers Field and I am all for it. I didn’t move downtown to have quiet. I can live in the burbs if I wanted that. Let’s do it!

  7. There’s definitely something to the idea of building a pedestrian bridge that has stairs down to both platforms. If it’s designed properly, it could serve as a built-in queue and it would keep people from crowding the street and the platform at the same time.

  8. Improvments we will difnately need?? imagine moving all these people 30 to 50K?
    who will pay for the extra staff needed when these games are going on? Does Metro get some sort of payment?

  9. Connor Gilliland:
    Another solution: for special events, the Los Angeles Traffic Department could elect to CLOSE DOWN that problematic segment of Pico Boulevard entirely to automobile traffic!

  10. I’m having trouble picturing the proposed configuration. Three platforms would seem to be a lot better than two by allowing boarding on both sides of all trains. Is there a plan or sketch of the proposal somewhere in those 17 volumes of online DEIR?

  11. It’s insane that Metro has decided not to run Crenshaw trains into downtown via the Expo Line tracks. It’s doubly insane that Farmers Field will not be connected to the Crenshaw Line because of the shortsided decision to truncate the Crenshaw Line at the Expo Line, instead of bringing both lines into downtown.

    Metro blames “operational issues” for the reasons that Crenshaw, Expo and Blue line trains can’t share tracks through the Regional Connector. That means the Regional Connector is too small.

    Metro is purposefully crippling the Crenshaw Line (which goes to LAX) by not bringing it into downtown LA. This is just like the decision to cripple the Green Line by stopping short of the airport.

  12. Morris, I totally I agree with that idea in ADDITION to fixing the signals for normal everyday operation. Metro and LADOT need to finally establish that these are not just local tramways, but rather, true surface level rapid transit lines which also use LRT rolling stock.

    Hans, to be fair to Metro on this one, the Crenshaw line will only truncate at expo in the interim until its extended north to the purple line and most likely onward to Hollywood/West Hollywood (with grade separation highly probable) where it can connect with the red line. So yes, it wont hit downtown but it will hit an equally significant portion of LA while having numerous said rail transit connections. It would add a second north-south line through the geographic heart of LA which is as much needed as a Sepulveda Pass/Van Nuys corridor line or any other line for that matter IMO.

  13. As one who actually spends a fair amount of time in the area and surrounding areas of the “Industry” option, I can assure you that it is not “better.” The traffic congestion currently at the 60/57 interchange is a DAILY joke, even SUNDAYS are a big slow down. When there is an accident at or near that interchange, heaven help us as it takes HOURS to use the streets making about 1 mile after over an hour. The proposed Industry location is a very POOR one in terms of environmental impact, and let’s not forget that the proposal is not only for a stadium but for an entertainment complex, as well. Oh, I pity and support the residents of Walnut in their fight against it. Yes, it does have a Metrolink station nearby, but it is on the troublesome Riverside line, so troublesome Metrolink has refused to add more trains on that line over the last several years because of disputes with the fright railroad owners, despite Riverside Line trains being quite full. Furthermore, ONE Metrolink line would serve fewer people than a number of interconnected Metro rail and bus lines downtown, where we all expect high traffic volume and a truly urban experience, not the in the suburbs of the east SGV.

    However, relying on LRT for Farmer’s, et al. at LA Live will prove, as it does today, inadequate. The only REAL transit solution is an heavy rail subway station at LA Live, but since that isn’t even on anyone’s wish list, let alone Measure R, it just isn’t going to happen. For the LRT to be close to a serious solution, ALL the platforms on the relevant lines serving Pico must ALL be lengthened to accommodate more cars (at least 6, probably more) on game and even days, as well as greater capacity for people to wait for the trains home at Pico. Then it might have a shot.

  14. It is inaccurate to say widening the Hollywood Freeway is a part of the mitigation measures. The mitigation measure B.1-25 is only to provide $2,400,000 for Caltrans prepare a Project Study Report. There is no funding for construction and there is no requirement for the freeway to ever be widened.

  15. The Sierra Club’s concept #3 for the Pico Station: ( http://la.streetsblog.org/wp-content/pdf/FarmersFieldPicoStationScopingPPT1.pdf ) looks to be the real winner.
    There are several great advantages that it offers:
    1. Maximum platform capacity of any design.
    2. Simultaneous train line boardings will increase the capacity.
    3. ‘Grade separation’ between surface traffic and pedestrians, good for safety and flow.
    4. Leaves Pico open to traffic.
    5. Bridge acts as queuing area and increased area for ticket machines.

    If AEG would also pony up the money to add the second bridge on 12th, then that would be the best ever (it would help with Staples and the queuing capacity.