How We Roll, Jan. 4: no love of freeways and flashy new TOD for Expo Line

Art of Transit: 

A flag girl for the William Mason High School in the Gold Line-adjacent Tournament of Roses parade on Friday. My first full-time newspaper gig was in good ol' Mason, Ohio, which has since sprawled and sprawled and sprawled some more. Photo by Steve Hymon.

A flag girl for the William Mason High School in the Gold Line-adjacent Tournament of Roses parade on Friday. My first full-time newspaper gig was in good ol’ Mason, Ohio, which has since sprawled and sprawled and sprawled some more. Photo by Steve Hymon.

Striking new look for Martin Expo Town Center (Urbanize LA)

From the project's final environmental study filed with the city of L.A.'s Planning Department. Click above to see the study.

From the project’s final environmental study filed with the city of L.A.’s Planning Department. Click above to see the study.

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.

Transforming the end of the 2 freeway could be the beginning of a new L.A. (LAT)

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.

Speaking of….

10 tired traffic myths that didn’t get a rest in 2015 (CityLab)

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.

AAA thinks gas prices will remain low in 2016 (CNN) 

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. 15more on the Metro bus service changes that began last Sunday.

I’m on Twitter and have a photography blog. Questions or ideas for How We Roll? Email me.


4 replies

  1. Are you nuts? Los Feliz, echoe park and silver lake are the last pieces of culture and vintage in LA. Keep the cement out

  2. The way the 2 just dumps on to Alvarado really hurts that section of Echo Park, basically turning it into the worlds largest onramp. It gets old having commuters use your neighborhood as a shortcut between the east valley/glendale and downtown.

    The LA-Glendale streetcar line would be magnificent, and I have to imagine it would have pretty high ridership. Street running through the Glendale/Silver Lake Blvd. area, down across the river to Atwater areas would make it a very appealing ride. From there I imagine it could pretty easily connect to the Americana before terminating in Glendale. Major investments would have to be made in improving Glendale Blvd., however.

    Haha can you tell I’ve thought about this some? Steve, do you know if Metro still owns any rights of way in this area?

  3. Its too bad Glendale does not seem to want rail. Koreatown to Glendale could take 12 minutes if they were in. That is a 6 mile trip (to glendale galleria) that can take an hour because of geography and traffic depending on the time of day.