Historic Lankershim Depot gets extreme makeover

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Metro today announced that it has completed a $3.6-million restoration of the historic Lankershim Depot near the Metro Orange and Red Lines in North Hollywood.

The train depot, originally built in 1896 and historically known as Toluca Southern Pacific Train Depot, has undergone a major transformation. About 70 percent of the original structure has been completely rehabilitated, with contractors completing a new building foundation and roof, electric and plumbing systems, platforms, signage and seismic upgrades. Metro contractors have also restored sidings, eaves, windows and doors.

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The depot in 1950.

The three-room depot and outside platform area now has its original paint colors of mustard yellow and brown, and features a sign on the roof that reads “Southern Pacific-Pacific Electric Station” that harkens back to the early and mid 20th century when the depot primarily served as a passenger and freight rail stop.

The depot will remain unoccupied until Metro determines the best use for the property and finds a future tenant. The chosen tenant will then make its required renovations to the interior, as well as plant landscaping around the depot’s perimeter. Additional work upon occupancy will include the restoration of an adjacent park and rebuilding railroad tracks next to the station to provide the proper context for the building.

Initial concepts for the re-use of the property include a bike hub, museum, coffee shop, restaurant or combination of those elements that provide the greatest public benefit.

When the depot becomes available for occupancy is dependent upon the construction schedule for Metro’s North Hollywood Station Underpass Project that will provide a safe, convenient underground connection between Metro’s Red Line and Orange Line stations — eliminating the need for riders to cross busy Lankershim Boulevard. Construction activities are now underway and the project is scheduled for completion in 2016.

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For those going Metro to the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval

street-closures-west-hollywood-halloween-carnaval-503x400As per usual, the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval will draw a huge and freaky crowd Friday night (we mean that as a compliment!). That means the street closures shown above will be in effect and a few Metro Bus Lines — the 2, 4, 10, 30, 105, 704 and 705 — will detour around the Carnaval.

Another reminder for those attending Halloween events throughout Los Angeles County: as per usual on the weekends, Metro Rail and the Orange Line and Silver Line will be running until 2 a.m. both Friday and Saturday night. Maps and timetables are here. Please consider taking transit, a taxi, ride-sharing or using a designated driver if you plan on celebrating (or over-celebrating) the holiday/weekend.

Specific line-by-line detour info is here for the WeHo Halloween Carnaval. Please note that you can use all the above buses to reach the Carnaval, although there is some walking involved between bus stops and the Carnaval.

If you are taking the 4 Bus or 704 Bus that runs on Santa Monica Boulevard, the eastbound detour begins at Santa Monica Boulevard and Beverly Drive — a half-mile walk to the beginning of the Carnaval. The westbound detour begins at Santa Monica and Fairfax — a .7-mile walk to the start of the Carnaval.

The city of West Hollywood is also running its trolley on the east side of the closures — the trolley will get you close to the start of the Carnaval.

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City of Santa Clarita holds ribbon cutting for McBean Bridge Widening and Bike Path Project

The city of Santa Clarita held a ribbon cutting ceremony this morning to celebrate the completion of the McBean Bridge Widening and Bike Path Project. The project was funded with $3.775 million through Metro’s 2009 Call for Projects. The city contributed $3.088 million.

The McBean Bridge Widening and Bike Path Project includes the widening of the McBean Parkway Bridge to eight lanes to improve traffic flow, the addition of a raised landscaped median and asphalt improvements.

The project also added a dedicated bike path and protected sidewalk on the bridge to connect the Santa Clara River Trail and the South River Trail. An additional trail connection beneath the north side of the bridge to connect the east and west portions of the Santa Clara River Trail was also built, providing improved connectivity for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Photos from last night’s Invisible Cities’ performance

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There was a huge crowd on hand for Wednesday night’s “Invisible Cities” performance in Los Angeles Union Station’s historic ticketing hall brought to you by the Metro Presents series. Thank you very much to The Industry for their hard work putting on the concert and for everyone who attended!

Transportation headlines, Thursday, October 30

Have a transportation-related article you think should be included in headlines? Drop me an email! And don’t forget, Metro is on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.  

ART OF TRANSIT: The Dodger Stadium Express will hitting the gym this winter to prepare for some heavy lifting in April -- particularly the 27th through the 29th. Let's hope for a Bumgarner versus Kershaw game.

ART OF TRANSIT: The Dodger Stadium Express will hitting the gym this winter to prepare for some heavy lifting in April — particularly the 27th through the 29th. Let’s hope for a Bumgarner versus Kershaw game.

Bullet train just a blur in California’s governor’s race (L.A. Times)

The high-speed rail line planned to eventually link Los Angeles and San Francisco (and one day San Diego) has been mentioned scarcely in the race between incumbent Gov. Jerry Brown and Republican opponent Neel Kashkari. That surprises some observers, given that the bullet train is widely considered to be the nation’s largest infrastructure project and one that needs political attention.

The noise near Santa Monica’s airport is getting louder (New York Times)

Nice overview story about the ballot measures in Santa Monica that will decide who controls the airport’s future — residents or elected officials. Well, sort of control — the Federal Aviation Administration which continues to contend that the city of Santa Monica must operate the airport for the benefit of the public.

Of course, there’s another big question if the airport (described as like an aircraft carrier in a sea of homes) should ever close: what does the 227-acre site become? Whatever happens, the second phase of the Expo Line will be about a mile away — but on the other side of the Santa Monica Freeway.

BART’s Oakland Airport Connector on track for holiday debut (Chronicle) 

Which holiday — Thanksgiving or Christmas — is still in question. But officials say the people mover that will run for 8.5 minutes between the BART regional rail line and the airport is almost ready to go and just needs approval from the California Public Utilities Commission.

Attentive Source readers know, of course, that LAX is planning to build a people mover system to connect the airport’s terminals to a station at Aviation and 96th Street along the Crenshaw/LAX Line. Please see this Source post from June for much, much, much more about that.

 

Reminder: free Day of the Dead Metro Art Tour this Sunday

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Don’t miss the special Día de los Muertos themed art tour this Sunday, Nov. 2. The free tour will explore artworks along the Metro Gold Line through the lens of artist Consuelo Flores. Participants are encouraged to dress in Calavera attire!

The tour will depart at 4:30 p.m. from the Metro Gold Line East L.A. Civic Center Station and end at 6 p.m. at Self Help Graphics’ 41st Annual Día de los Muertos Celebration in Boyle Heights near Pico/Aliso Station. TAP card holders will be able to save 10 percent on artwork at the event. [NOTE: Sunday is the end of Daylight Saving Time, which means clocks will be "falling" back one hour at 2 a.m. Make sure all your clocks are updated...wouldn't want to show up for the tour an hour early!]

The tour is approximately 90 percent walking. There are elevators and escalators in all of the stations and only Mariachi Station is underground.

Zocalo Public Square event Monday: are trains the future of L.A.?

Our friends at Zocalo Public Square have been all over transportation issues this year. That trend continues Monday night at Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles (317 S. Broadway). Here’s the description from Zocalo:

For a century, the hearts of Angelenos have belonged to cars and to flying machines, not trains–even though we never would have become a city without the railroad, and couldn’t survive as a global trade center without the rail links to our seaports. But today, in a potentially historic shift, Southern California governments are betting billions that trains can win us over. Five rail lines are under construction right now in L.A., part of a 30-year wave of projects that could give Southern California the most highly developed rail system in the country, save New York. But will we go along for the ride? Only a small percentage of us use the Metro rail regularly, and California’s high-speed rail project is unpopular in L.A. Will we change our ways and depend on trains daily–and embrace development around rail networks? What is it about rail that captures people’s hearts–and why has L.A. remained immune to this almost universally beloved mode of transport? Journalist and Chapman University English scholar Tom Zoellner, author of Train, and UCLA and UC Berkeley legal, business, and environmental scholar Ethan Elkind, author of Railtown, visit Zócalo to discuss the past and future of trains here, and whether Los Angeles will finally fall for rail.

 

Sounds intriguing. BTW, I’ll be recording a podcast with Ethan Elkind that we’ll have on the Source soon talking about transit past, present and future in our region.

More info on registering to attend the event at the Zocalo website. Grand Central Market is a short walk from the Red/Purple Line’s Pershing Square Station and numerous Metro Bus lines, as shown on the map below. All Metro maps and timetables are here.

Click above to see larger.

Click above to see larger.