How We Roll, April 28: parking at the Azusa Gold Line stations

Azusa City Council approves permit parking district near downtown Gold Line station (Azusa City Council)


Parking for the Gold Line is already prohibited on the streets in the Rosedale development immediately north of the APU/Citrus College Station, where the garage has been filling by 5:30 a.m. on many weekday mornings. The Council action taken Monday night involves the Azusa Downtown station, where Metro’s spaces in the parking garage have been filling between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. on most weekdays. The city controls 145 parking spaces in that garage, which are not available to Metro riders — and Metro riders who park there will be cited by the city of Azusa.

Here’s the description of the action taken from the Council’s agenda:

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Review and discuss options to be presented by staff; adopt Resolution No. 2016-C30 imposing timerestricted parking on certain streets and parking facilities for Zone 1, bounded by Ninth Street to the north, Foothill Boulevard to the south, Dalton Avenue to the east and San Gabriel Avenue to the west and authorizing a parking permit program to allow residents to park on time-restricted streets; and adopt Resolution No. 2016-C31 imposing time-restricted parking on certain streets and parking facilities for Zone 2, bounded by Foothill Boulevard to the north, Sixth Street to the south, Dalton Avenue to the east, and San Gabriel Avenue to the west; and authorize staff to prepare permit applications and develop a parking permit program (without fee) for residents.

Audio from the Council meeting is here. The discussion begins at the 10:30 mark.

A few important points:

•The permit parking districts cover areas close to the station — where there are homes and apartments adjacent to the city’s business district.

•As city of Azusa officials note, Gold Line riders should not be parking in the Target garage across the street from the Azusa Downtown Station. Target has been towing cars, including 17 in a single day.

•I know there are people frustrated with the parking situation in Azusa and say the garages should have been built larger to accommodate the many people driving into Azusa from other communities to use the Gold Line.

•I think it’s worth remembering that Azusa was not planned to be the end of the Gold Line — there are plans to extend the Gold Line to Claremont and Montclair, if funding becomes available from Metro and San Bernardino County, respectively (funding is included in Metro’s potential ballot measure).

•It’s also worth mentioning that the other new Foothill Extension garages and lots have been filling up more slowly — Irwindale tends to fill by 9 a.m. and there are usually spaces available at Monrovia Station’s garage throughout the morning rush hour. The Duarte lot is small and sometimes fills. The Sierra Madre Villa garage in Pasadena used to fill or almost fill daily — and is now often well under half filled. So there are spaces there.

•Speaking more generically, the street parking rules vary near different Metro Rail stations. Generally, it’s often not easy finding long-term street parking near the more popular stations. There are exceptions. I personally think it’s a tough situation: I feel for those who want to take transit, I also understand the concerns of residents seeing increased traffic and parking on their streets.

Why a state senator wants to add two members to the Metro Board (SGV Tribune)

Supporters say it would help combat pro-Westside bias on the 13-member Board. Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) is also unhappy that a project he backs — the West Santa Ana Corridor — wouldn’t be completed between Artesia and downtown Los Angeles until the 2040s under Metro’s potential ballot measure.

Metro Board Member and Duarte Council Member John Fasana is quoted. He opposes the bill, noting that it would allow state officials — specifically the Senate Pro Tem — to appoint the Board Members, which would circumvent local control of the Board.

Crude L.A.: California’s urban oil fields (VICE)

You can watch the video by clicking above. It’s really interesting.

A lot of footage from our region and a reminder how much drilling is happening among us. How harmful is it to our health? As Daniel Hernandez reports, the studies are mixed and getting information from regulators and the industry isn’t always easy.

Quasi-related: on the subject of oil…

Rare photos show North Korea’s little seen Metro system (Earth Nutshell)

Credit: Earth Nutshell.

Credit: Earth Nutshell.

Fresh pics of the subway in Pyongyang — a really good photo gallery. The two lines were built between 1969 and 1972, so says Wikipedia.

If you’re interested in North Korea, here’s a really good photo gallery of daily life there from the Aussie photographer Lee Grant.

MBTA officials: rail losing $35 million in a year in fare evasion (Boston Herald)

Officials are trying to figure out a way to prevent people from scoring free or cheaper rides on the T. One in five riders, officials say, aren’t paying the proper fare or any fare at all.




21 replies

  1. Yeah, the parking at APU/Citrus and Azusa Downtown is beyond ridiculous. I totally understand that this is not the planned end of the line but the fact remains that it is the current end of the line and it will be for at least the next 11 years. It is totally understandable that the city of Azusa wants to keep the street parking available for its residents. The problem still remains: riders to the East of Azusa are a significant percentage of new ridership and it is on Metro to provide parking for these riders, or lose them. Driving to parking lots farther along is not a solution. Most, like me, will just drive to work if I have to drive to Irwindale or farther West to get a parking space. There are plenty of ways to alleviate this problem that don’t involve building more parking structures that will sit half empty once the Gold Line is built out. Here are a few of my suggestions: provide continuous shuttles during rush hour from other park and ride locations (Grand, Lone Hill), work with Foothill Transit to provide an express service to APU/Citrus (perhaps re-direct the 690 Express to end or stop at APU/Citrus), provide shuttles during rush hour from all the proposed new stops along the Gold Line (Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont), provide shuttles from the largely unused parking lot at the Covina Metro station. These are just my ideas. I’m sure other people will have additional ones. Is Metro considering any of these solutions? One obvious solution is to provide paid parking in the Azusa lots so that some later commuters have a chance at a parking space but this solution doesn’t provide any more spaces. My fear? That ridership will diminish as parking becomes impossible and then the funding for the build out to Claremont/ Montclair will dry up. Ridership on the extension has well surpassed expectations and I am sure it will continue as long as this issue is addressed. I am leaving earlier and earlier each day to find parking and at some point it will not be worth it.

    • These are very good ideas, but ultimately Metro (a very politically sensitive organization) needs to use its influence in Sacramento far more. Extreme pressure must be put on SANBAG / Omnitrans to reallocate some resources for LAC bound commuters rather than their ‘blue sky’, DTSB facing projects. Foothill Transit won’t be able to overcome this ‘border dispute’ by itself.

    • I have already notified Metro that I will vote against any sales tax increase. If Metro can’t plan adequate parking why should we spend millions of dollars building trains that will not be used. I have driven to APU, found no spaces, then driven to Azusa, found no spaces, then driven to Irwindale, found no spaces, and finally ended up just driving to Pasadena. I wasted over an hour of time and drove an extra 5 miles. I can’t believe Metro is incapable of properly assessing how many people will ride the Gold Line. Didn’t they even read their own “I will ride” website? Let’s get more shuttles and express buses going before we lose riders forever. Wake up, Metro!

    • at the Edison complex across the street from the Irwindale rail, is a huge 3 story parking lot structure that is mostly empty. in fact. I always thought THAT was going to be the parking for the rail and was surprised when it all moved across the street. Metro should contract and run shuttles from that parking lot.

  2. Wow, just wow!!! This is the final nail in the coffin…although expected….amazing how there has been absolutely no action taken by Metro…seems that even our politicians act faster than Metro!

  3. “…Azusa was not planned to be the end of the Gold Line”

    And how many years will that take? What do we do in the meantime? City of Glendora has a shuttle now, and I applaud them for it, but the 30-minute cycles just do not work for me. I am so embittered by the gold line extension that I’m extremely unlikely to vote for any further ballot measures for this and I suspect I am not alone. And to add salt to my wounds, I now have to contend with the nonsensical traffic lights at the rail intersections where I have had to wait 5 minutes to make it through. I curse at the gold line trains every time one passes now. Yes, very immature I admit, but it is cathartic.

    • “I am so embittered by the gold line extension that I’m extremely unlikely to vote for any further ballot measures for this and I suspect I am not alone”

      And again I ask, how do YOU propose we solve the problem if another ballot measure is voted down?? Because I doubt voting down another ballot measure will solve this current problem??

      In the beginning people complained about SMV parking garage not being big enough for commuters east of Pasadena. Now comes the complaints of people living in the suburbs not being able to find parking at the current end of line stations, even though there are other alternatives. Sure those alternatives may not work for others but unfortunately for now that’s how things will be.

      Let me guess, people will begin about parking problems at Montclair/Claremont in 10 years??

      • Don’t remember you asking me, but I’m waiting for self driving cars. They’ll be ready long before these piecemeal rail projects that may take decades before they’ll actually be useful, if ever. Don’t want any more of my tax dollars to go to waste.

  4. I continue to be amazed at how surprised the MTA has been by the demand for parking at the Azusa stations. All they would have had to do is go to Google Maps and see that at 7:00 AM the commute times on the 210 Freeway from San Dimas to Pasadena typically run 45 – 100 minutes for a 21 mile trip. I am still more amazed by their reaction to the demand, which at first was to deny there was a problem, and then when forced to recognize there was a problem to add parking lot attendants, who unless they have the ability to magically create parking spaces, don’t actually resolve the problem, they just kick it down the line. They need to bite the bullet and add parking at these stations. These stations are going to be the end of the line for the next decade. Every commuter turned away because of inadequate parking actually represents more than 5,000 Gold Line trips during that period. I think that should be more than enough reasons to actually build more parking, even if it is not needed when the line is extended sometime between 2025 and 2030.

    • If SGV residents want parking and a comfortable seat into the city they should be taking Metrolink not light rail. Light rail is an urban form of transport that requires people to walk, bike or bus to stations and like in many cities you don’t have a seat waiting for you if you are riding into the City during rush hour. Light rail also requires even usage in both directions to be efficient, which the SGV is not providing. Trains are apparently running cross direction almost completely empty. The Gold Line already has way more parking than the Expo Line as a reference. Maybe Azuza Pacific will be willing to provide some paid parking in their garage.

    • That’s right. If there were space for a parking lot, provide the parking now. When the gold line is extended, the lot can be developed into apartments.

  5. @Vincent, more tactically, they need to do away with the artificial 3 hour parking limits within the DT Azusa parking structure…and even reduce the # of spots reserved for electric / clean air vehicles (they don’t even have charging stations, and most of the spots remain vacant) ….just seems to be such a no brainer, at least from an end consumer perspective.

  6. Meanwhile, there’s an existing parking structure in Covina that is half full for the Metrolink. Yes it charges $2 a day but it should be easy to run shuttles between the two points. It also helps alleviate overcrowding on Metrolink west of Covina as people destined for Pasadena can transfer that way. And, when the Citrus Avenue bridge is completed, all those Citrus College parking spaces become available for anyone willing to take a class there to get a semester permit, or pay the $5 daily fee.

  7. For Metro to state this is not the end of the line is nonsense. I live in Santa Clarita and have complete sympathy for the San Gabriel residents who are trying to utilize their new mass transit extension. Everyone should see this as an example of why Metro doesn’t deserve any more money since they can’t deliver properly new transit lines with adequate parking. Most people drive, that’s the way it’s going to be for the foreseeable future.

  8. Azusa should be cashing in on the parking demand near APU/Citrus Station by putting up parking meters, instead of locking it down for the residents. I know, I know, it goes against people’s God-given right to park for free in front of their home (eyeroll). Metro should be cashing in on the demand as well. Use the money you earn to improve the frequency of transit lines that feed into the Gold Line or build larger garages. Improvements aren’t free. Pricing is a great way to manage demand for a scare resource. The idea that there should be tons of free parking everywhere is the antithesis of everything that makes transit work well. No city in America that emphasizes easy parking has a transit system that seriously competes with driving.

    The Gold Line Foothill Extension is a great example of what happens when you insert urban transportation (light rail) into a suburban context: low walkability at the stations, low ridership, high costs of providing service for trains that are empty for much of the day. We should be fitting transportation solutions to their context. What’s the point of building rail if you refuse to make the land use changes like density, mixed-uses, narrow pedestrian-friendly streets and difficult or expensive parking that make rail work? Even if you go the suburban route and build massive garages at every station, guess what, people might start their trip at a garage, but a garage isn’t much of a trip destination. If we want to make transit seriously work and seriously transformative, we have to change the game and start building pedestrian-oriented destinations at every major transit station. Stations have to function as origins and destinations, otherwise all of the traffic moves one way (towards Downtown AM, towards SGV PM), which is very inefficient.

  9. Has metro ever tried to determine if these are actual LA county residents using the train. Because that measure R falls on LA county residents paying for the sales tax increase.

    • That raises an interesting question. Can Metro give parking preference in the Azusa parking lots to LA County residents? There are obviously a lot of San Bernardino County residents who are using those parking lots. Metro could issue bumper stickers or parking placards to LA County residents who want to use the parking lots, and only cars displaying the identification would be allowed to use those lots, at least before 10 AM. That sounds fair because LA County residents have paid for the system.