How We Roll, March 1: with rail transit, will changes come to the Foothill cities?

Why new Gold Line stations mean local neighborhood changes are coming (SGV Tribune) 

The current view of Duarte/City of Hope Station -- warehouses on north side of tracks, where the city wants to build a transit-oriented community.

The current view of Duarte/City of Hope Station — warehouses on north side of tracks, where the city wants to build a transit-oriented community.

A lot of good nuggets in this article about developments near the new Foothill Extension stations. A few new developments have been approved near the Arcadia station and there are plans for new residential housing and a Grand Central Market-type food court at the Monrovia Station, where the EXCELLENT (my words, not the Trib’s) Station Square Park has been largely completed.

Perhaps most interesting is the Duarte/City of Hope Station. Duarte doesn’t have a traditional downtown but the city in 2013 approved a new specific plan for 19 acres adjacent to the new Gold Line station. From the city:

The Plan provides for mixed-use development of up to 475 residential units, 400,000 square feet of office, 12,000 of commercial, and 250 hotel rooms in the 19-acre planning area. RBF, the Dahlin Group and Economic and Planning Systems assisted in the drafting of the plan.

As with most plans of these types, we’ll see what actually comes to fruition. It’s great to see that Duarte is working on this — and the fact that the sprawling City of Hope campus is next to the station likely helps. Below is one rendering from the city — the view is from the south looking north across the tracks to where the white building above is located. (More renderings here)


Garcetti, transit leaders envision an L.A. of self-driving cars and hyperloop (LAT)

The L.A. Times held a half-day transportation discussion yesterday. I couldn’t make it, but here some tweets generated by the different panels.

Interesting stuff, albeit nuggets that have been reported by various media. I actually think the most salient tweet is the one about the line at the mens room. In nearly a decade of covering transpo, I’ve found the discussion too often dominated by men, often of the white and middle-aged variety.

The good news is that’s changing, at least locally, and you see it among the agencies, the activists and the journalists covering the transpo beat. My three cents: more diverse voices = better ways to get around town.

As for the LAT article, one clarification: as part of the second phase of the Expo Line, parking was built at three stations: Expo/Sepulveda, Expo/Bundy and 17th/SMC.

It’s up to the cities of Los Angeles and Santa Monica to determine parking restrictions on streets near Expo stations. Due to permit restrictions and such, I’m guessing there isn’t a ton of long-term parking.

But Expo 2 does include a very nice bike path adjacent to the line and the stations are served by Big Blue Bus and Metro.

Will rail extensions boost LA Metro’s ridership? (KCRW) 

LAObserved’s Kevin Roderick’s has some good observations in weekly on-air segment devoted to the two rail projects soon to open — the Gold Line to Azusa (March 5) and the Expo Line to Santa Monica (May 20).

Kevin thinks the Expo Line project, in particular, will see big ridership numbers but wonders how many more people/visitors can be absorbed by already-crowded downtown Santa Monica. He also thinks that the Gold Line will serve a part of the San Gabriel Valley that has been hungry for rail transit and that it will pick up a lot of commuters and younger riders eager for an easier way to reach Pasadena and DTLA.

Good segment. It’s four minutes — give it a listen.

Are there any plans for a 405 metro? (Reddit Los Angeles)

Interesting convo. Short answer: yes, the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor will receive $1 billion from Measure R. The planning studies are still in their early phase and more funding will be needed if the project were to become (for example) an underground rail line. Stay tuned.

A global journey with a camera and a motorcycle (NYT Lens blog) 

I’m sure there are a few Source readers sitting at their workplace this morning dreaming of chucking it all and wandering the world. If so, this one’s for you. And great pics to graze upon while whilsting away the minutes on transit.


2 replies

  1. Unfortunately the kind of development that you really need to see to maximize light rail is just not coming to Gold Line stations. This is not just townhomes or three story condos directly adjacent to Gold Line stations – although they do help – but higher density, 4 and 5 story apartments and office buildings in a half mile or 3/4 mile radius all around the station. Failing that, the parking lots on the Gold Line eastern extension are undersized – the Irwindale one has only 300 spaces despite being the most easily accessible station to the 605 freeway. I predict the parking lots on the Gold Line eastern extension are going to be full the first month, which will really hurt ridership.

    • Out of curiosity, I did some number crunching and found that if all ~87 individual stations (pre Gold line & Expo extension) were surrounded by “Park La Brea” type developments, every single LA city resident could have 900 sq ft of living space and 400 sq ft of commercial space within 1/4 mile of a train station.

      To clarify, 4 million people could each be allotted 1300 sq ft (Gross Floor Area) in 90 clusters (0.5 mile diameter) of 14 storey mixed use developments… all served by rail.

      If we continue to provide excessive parking and car oriented development surrounding transit, we’ll never maximize the potential of rail, but continue to perpetuate the need to drive. An effective transit system would eliminate the middle man (car) and avoid the first mile / last mile issue that our system is plagued by in the interest of “Transit Oriented-esque Suburbia”