Poll: How would you plan the Westside Subway Extension?

Attentive readers know that the Westside Subway Extension is scheduled to reach an important milestone later this summer: the release of the project’s draft environmental impact statement/report, otherwise known as a DEIR.

The lengthy document looks at the reasons the line should or shouldn’t be built, its impacts on the built and natural environment and how it may be constructed, among other things. The public will have several weeks to comment on the DEIR and then Metro staff will issue their recommendations on the project.

This map shows one of the subway alignments under study, with the route extending past the 405 freeway to near the VA Hospital in Westwood. Click above for a larger image.

If, for example, staff recommends the line should be built, they’ll also have to select a route and station locations, among other things. Eventually it will be up to the Board of Directors of Metro to vote on those recommendations and launch a Final Environmental Impact Report/Statement, an even more refined document that is required by law before construction can begin.

In the run-up to the release of the report, we wanted to do a series of polls on The Source asking readers what they thought of various issues along the line that have yet to be resolved. We’ll look at these issues going from east to west, beginning with a big one: should there be a station at Crenshaw & Wilshire?

Here is a lengthy post from earlier this year about the Crenshaw station and here’s the Metro staff power point presentation on it. In short, here are the issues:

•There is not consensus in the surrounding community whether a station is wanted.

•The area is mostly low-density and residential and the Crenshaw station would be just one-half mile west of the current Purple line station at Wilshire & Western but 1.5 miles from the next planned station at Wilshire & LaBrea.

•Metro estimates that a Crenshaw station would have about 4,200 to 4,300 daily boardings in the year 2035 and would cost about $153 million to build. The line, if extended to the VA Hospital, is initially expected to generate about 80,000 boardings at new stations.

•There are no plans at this time for the planned Crenshaw light rail lane to come north of the Expo Line. A separate study said that if the Crenshaw Line is ever extended north to the Wilshire corridor, it shouldn’t be at Crenshaw but instead someplace to the west.

So what do you think? Take the poll and we’ll update you on results as the votes start to pile up.