One of the allegations that has been floating around for months is that the Westside Subway Extension’s station in Century City was moved from Santa Monica Boulevard to Constellation Boulevard by Metro at the request of a politically-connected developer.
It’s an assertion that is not true. The Constellation site was studied — as was required by law — and ultimately chosen by the Metro Board of Directors for two primary reasons: 1) to avoid building a subway station within active earthquake fault zones under Santa Monica Boulevard, where there is the chance of ground rupture, and; 2) because studies showed higher ridership at a Constellation station.
A Constellation station was also widely supported by a number of individuals and groups that took part in the subway planning process. Chief among them: the 11 influential homeowner associations that represent residents in Los Angeles neighborhoods in and around Century City. These are groups have a long history in local land use and traffic issues and I think it’s fair to say that they aren’t afraid of the powers-that-be and they don’t carry anyone’s water bucket.
The following statement was issued this afternoon:
LOS ANGELES – May 25, 2012 – Metro and Thomas Properties Group continue to work closely to address Thomas Properties Group’s concerns with the construction method currently approved for the Regional Connector proposed to run beneath Flower Street in front of the company’s properties in downtown Los Angeles.
Recently Metro has held productive meetings with Thomas Properties Group and the parties are endeavoring to resolve their issues soon. However, any alternate construction method to be undertaken by Metro will require additional technical studies, which will take several additional weeks before an alternate method can be finalized. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires objections to be filed within 30 days of any decisions or approvals. Given this compressed time frame, Thomas Properties Group has filed a lawsuit to preserve its rights under CEQA. Metro is fully aware of this filing and its purpose and has committed to continue to meet with Thomas Properties Group to seek alternate construction methods.
Thomas Properties Group fully supports the Regional Connector as a key component of our public transportation network and the parties are committed to reaching a swift and reasonable resolution of their issues.
As per usual on holidays, Metro buses and trains will be running on a Sunday schedule on Monday, May 28. Timetables for bus and trains can be found here.
Have a great and safe weekend. We’ll resume posting on The Source on Tuesday. There will be little or none comment moderation over the weekend. Thanks in advance for your patience; all the same issues will still be here next week :)
Fun video by ExpoLineFan posted to YouTube this morning showing a flyover of the future Westside Subway Extension using Google Maps and animation.
Two cautionary notes: the alignment shown in the video is only a general description and is not completely accurate, particularly in the western Beverly Hills to Westwood section. Here is a link to a Metro document with maps that show the precise route the subway will take and a more general map is below.
The video is also a little overly enthusiastic and takes the line all the way to Santa Monica. The Westside Subway Extension is only funded at this time to the Westwood/VA Station.
Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.
Sen. Boxer: ‘Great progress’ on highway bill negotiations; deal possible by end of June (The Hill)
It’s safe to say that I’m no longer holding my breath on this federal transpo bill. But it’s heartening to hear from Senator Boxer that the committee of Representatives and Senators of both parties that she is leading has apparently been working productively and in good faith. Boxer says they’re about 80 percent of the way to having a finished product and could wrap things up as early as June.
Designing a walking L.A.: An interview with Los Angeles Walks found Deborah Murphy (Core 77)
The work of stalwart pedestrian advocate Deborah Murphy (full disclosure: we’re on the board of a non-profit together) gets the spotlight in this interview with design magazine Core 77. While Murphy has been a champion of pedestrian safety for decades — and L.A. Walks has been around since 1998 — she says the movement has grown stronger in recent years thanks to advocacy blogs and better coordination with bicyclists. Check out the story to hear some of her ideas for how to make Los Angeles a better place to be on two feet.
Has the passion gone out of America’s fabled love affair with the automobile? (Washington Post)
It’s a story we’re hearing more and more: High gas prices and hand-held technology are respectively making Americans fall out of love with the car and taking advantage of new transportation options at their disposal. One interesting fact that the Post highlights is that it’s not just the down economy that’s depressing the amount of driving by Americans under 35 years old. Even those who are employed are driving less than past generations.
Carmageddon II date still pending (Daily News)
It will probably be late summer or later when the 405 is again shut down for demolition of the other half of the Mulholland bridge. Utility relocations has been one problem causing delays to the project that is adding a northbound carpool lane to the 405 and making other improvements.
For those of you not going out of town, take advantage of the long weekend and check out some of the great events happening around the city.
The legendary queen of Egypt has just settled in at the California Science Center. Cleopatra: The Exhibition features the largest collection of Cleopatra-era artifacts ever assembled in the U.S. The displays give a first-hand account of the famous queen’s world. After visiting Cleopatra, spend the rest of the day exploring the Science Center’s fun, interactive science exhibits. Tickets for Cleopatra are $19.75 for adults, and it’s $26 to visit the exhibition and catch an IMAX film. Go Metro and save $3 on exhibition-only tickets and $5 on combination tickets. The California Science Center is open everyday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Metro Expo Line to Expo Park/USC Station, Metro Bus 102 to Exposition/University.)
photo by Metro, via Metro Transportation Library and Archive’s Flickr page
I thought the above photo of Red Line construction, taken in the 1990s, was appropriate for today’s Art of Transit. As you may have heard by now, the Metro Board of Directors on Thursday selected the route and station locations for the second and third phase of the Westside Subway Extension, thereby formally ending the environmental study phase of the project and moving it closer to actual…gasp…construction.
The photo below shows a freshly-delivered subway car. I’m not sure where or when it was taken. Anyone in ReaderLand know?
This photo was taken on one of the stations along Vermont Avenue — I’m guessing it’s either Wilshire/Vermont or Vermont/Beverly.
To see many more subway construction photos, several sets can be found here at the Metro Library’s expansive Flickr collection.
To submit a photo for the Art of Transit, post it to Metro’s Flickr group, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet it to @metrolosangeles with an #artoftransit hashtag. Many of the photos we’ve featured can be seen in these galleries on Flickr.