Art of Transit:
Striking new look for Martin Expo Town Center (Urbanize LA)
The Cadillac dealer at Olympic/Bundy in West L.A. is set to be replaced by this residential and commercial space. Of course, that’s if the city of Los Angeles allows the project to go forward, always an iffy proposition on the Westside given traffic concerns. It will certainly be interesting to see how much new development is built along the 6.6-mile Expo Line extension between Culver City and Santa Monica.
A more blunt way of saying it: will the presence of a new rail line overcome traditional concerns over traffic? Santa Monica has certainly been allowing new buildings to rise in its downtown area, but we’ll see what happens near the six other new Expo Line stations.
As for Olympic/Bundy, there will be a new Expo Line aerial station just south of the intersection of Olympic and Bundy. Here’s a street view from Google Maps:
As one Metro follower noted on our Facebook page, it’s also worth noting that the Cadillac dealership was built on the former site of the Olympic Drive-in Theater. The theater — hard to imagine now — was on the site from the late 1940s and operated until Oct. 1973. Here’s a good blog post with some pics.
Architecture/planning critic Christopher Hawthorne has an interesting idea: close the stub end of the 2 freeway between the 5 and Glendale Boulevard. A better use of the land, Christopher argues, is park space and perhaps some residential development.
Plausible? Maybe — with years of patience and a strong political push. Sensible? Well, the L.A. River is due to get some sort of makeover and this would be the kind of park that could extend from Silver Lake and Echo Park to the river, the kind of connection that seems appealing.
And the traffic? Christopher says it would likely adjust but admits there would certainly be impacts to other roads. I think if there was a transit line in the area — such as the long-gone L.A.-to-Glendale streetcar line (click to check out a cool old photo) — that would ease concerns.
Meanwhile, in a separate LAT op-ed, Emilia Crotty argues for permanently banning cars on Hollywood Boulevard between Highland and Orange, pointing to the fact that this stretch closes often for big events and the globe hasn’t fallen off its axis, at least not yet.
Myth No. 8 is that tearing down an urban highway leads to traffic nightmares, so says Eric Jaffe. Myths No. 1 and 2 are, respectively: more roads don’t necessarily mean less traffic and more transit doesn’t usually result in less traffic.
Duly noted. Attentive Source readers will note that those myths make regular guest appearances in How We Roll.
See Myth N0. 9 in the above article.
As for prices at the pump, AAA is predicting the average price of regular will be between $2.25 and $2.40 across the U.S. So if you’re planning a very long road trip, that’s good news. If you’re hanging around California, prepare as always to pay higher — perhaps significantly higher — due to the special blend of gas we use here to help prevent even more smog.
BTW/FWIW/ICYMI: Many transit experts say there’s not much of a connection between gas prices and transit ridership. In other words, people who are going to ride transit are going to ride transit. People who are going to drive are going to drive.
Hoverboards banned from Metrolink trains (Star News)
The commuter railroad that serves Southern California has banned them out of concern of reports of hoverboards catching fire. I’m trying to find out Metro’s stance on hoverboards and will update this post.
Things to listen to on transit: This year’s Serial is different than last year’s — which was basically a murder mystery. But three episodes in, I’m hooked on the ongoing story of Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier who was held captive for nearly five years by the Taliban after walking away from his base in Afghanistan.
Recent How We Rolls:
Dec. 31: a few thoughts on transpo trends in 2015.
Dec. 23: Lyft to LAX, Star Wars characters on transit.
Dec. 21: Silver Line to San Pedro, will there be transit to pro football in L.A.?
Dec. 18: buses versus illegal motorists in the Wilshire peak hour bus lanes.
Dec. 15: more on the Metro bus service changes that began last Sunday.
Categories: Transportation Headlines