Transportation headlines, Friday, May 11

The L.A. Subway Terminal Building as it looks today. 65,000 Angelenos used to board here every day. Photo by Alissa Walker.

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

Design East of La Brea tours L.A.’s original subway (Gelatobaby)

Alissa Walker of the Galatobaby blog and host of the urban design group, de LaB, has this excellent recap of yesterday’s tour of Los Angeles’ original subway terminal. Yes, back before Metro Rail tunneled under downtown’s streets, the Los Angeles urban rail network carried thousands of Angelenos underground between Hill Street and where Beverly Boulevard crosses over 2nd Street. Check out the story for more present-day photos — like the one above — juxtaposed with historic photos from the Metro Transportation Library.

Mica: Highway bill negotiations ‘moving along’; will meet with Boxer next week (The Hill)

Time for a quick check-in on the federal transportation funding bill that’s three years overdue. The Hill reports that a working group of members from the House of Representatives and the Senate is meeting to hammer out the details of a multi-year bill that funds many of the nation’s highway, transit and bike-ped projects. A key sticking point seems to be that Republicans in the House want to insert into the bill Congressional approval of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline project.

Add a green buffered bike lane and number of cyclists explode (L.A. Streetsblog)
The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition recently completed an on-the-ground survey of bicycling rates in Los Angeles and found that biking is increasing citywide. Some particularly good news: the installation of the green bike lane on Spring Street has coincided with a dramatic increasing in cycling on that street, especially among women — a heartening sign given that women presently make up only about one-fifth of cyclists in L.A.

10 replies

  1. It would be nice to see a tunnel map of these old subway lines as it exists today.

    Is there a reason why we can’t just use these existing infrastructures as part of existing transit plans? Wouldn’t it be faster and cheaper just to renovate and modernize these old subways tunnels to full service operations once again?

    If we can get something like an old subway car that was used back then to run some of these tracks, it can become a new and historical attraction for the LA as well as being a part of the existing transit network, similar to the cable cars of San Francisco.

    • Kevin,

      I believe the tour was organized for the group by the building’s management.

      Carter Rubin
      Contributor, The Source

  2. The old tunnels run perpendicular to the new metro subway tunnels downtown, the “old” subway terminal is actually near Pershing square station. I would like to see metro integrate it somehow, like a pocket track to make the line more efficient when the regional connector opens, but it can’t be used as it’s own because it is abandoned route, it wouldn’t be efficient to route anything through it PLUS the bona venture hotel foundation blocks this part of the tunnel to the entrance portal where there is now an apartment building. Still it is fascinating to see the underground history of L.A. Many Angelinos would be shocked to know that there is an old subway from the 1940s that was majorly used then, right under their feet.

  3. No, it can’t be used for any transit options today as explained above. However, that isn’t to say the someone with a vision can take the underground station and somehow refurbish and “re-crate” and re-purpose the thing as a grand performance area and/or restaurant on the scale seen in Vegas like the canals at the Venetian. Of course, that would take tons of $$$, and someone with TONS of personal wealth who know he/she won’t make a single penny from it in their lifetime, but do it because of a passion and for reasons of historical preservation and not used as aisle 3 for canned peas and carrot.

  4. It would be nice to see this infrastructure used for a revival of the Glendale PE route (I believe this was the terminus for that line). With proper retrofitting and maybe a new station entrance (due to what Redebbm said about the old entrance), this could be a new main LRT line in the future, no?…

    • Connor,

      Suffice it to say that the tunnels are in no state to be brought back into service, in large part because, as Alissa Walker notes in her article, the tunnels are sealed in two places and the Bonaventure Hotel’s foundation goes right through it.

      Carter Rubin
      Contributor, The Source

  5. Why not reincorporate these tunnels as additional entry points to our existing stations? There’s no need to re-start services. Add some moving sidewalks like the airport, remodel the place with better lighting, refurbish some of the old subway offices to retail shops, and dig a hole to the Pershing Square station.

    This entire tunnel can have the dual use of being a historical museum of the old P&E Lines(hint: something that can make additional revenue for Metro) and as an extension of the Pershing Square Metro station.

    If there’s a parking garage for the Bonaventure on the other side, why not open it up as an additional Pershing Square entry point that leads directly to the Bonaventure? I’m sure hotel guests would appreciate that their hotel actually has a subway station underneath. A lot of cities have stations where they have multiple entry points that directly lead to buildings and hotels.

  6. The idea of “repurposing” the tunnels for a cool and hip space may start to gain more traction, now that downtown is seeing a revival as a residence area.