Court affirms ruling against neighborhood group’s challenge to Expo Line’s second phase

Below is the news release from the Expo Line Construction Authority, the independent agency building the second phase of the project between Culver City and Santa Monica. And here is a link [pdf] to the court ruling.

The California Court of Appeal yesterday ruled unanimously in favor of the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (Expo Authority) in litigation brought by Neighbors for Smart Rail (NFSR) against the Expo Line Phase 2 project. The Court affirmed the judgment of the Superior Court and held that the Expo Authority complied with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in the Expo Authority’s certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report (Final EIR) and approval of the project.

The Court rejected all of NFSR’s challenges to the Final EIR and concluded that the Final EIR adequately evaluated potential impacts of the project, including potential traffic impacts on Sepulveda Boulevard, growth inducing impacts and potential cumulative impacts, among others. The Court concluded that the Authority complied with CEQA in evaluating the significance of potential traffic and air quality impacts of the project against projected future traffic and air quality conditions in 2030.

In its ruling, the Court stated:

“We agree with the Expo Authority . . . that, in a proper case, and when supported by substantial evidence, use of projected conditions may be an appropriate way to measure the environmental impacts that a project will have on traffic, air quality and greenhouse gas emissions….”

The Expo Authority continues to move forward with final design and construction on the Phase 2 project, which is essential to the full realization of the entire Expo Line project connecting downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica. The Expo Line will bring greater mobility to the region by connecting the Westside to the region’s existing rail network. The communities along this alignment have been traditionally underserved by public transportation and are among the most traffic-congested in the nation. Service on Phase 1 of the Expo Line will begin on April 28, 2012, with service to the Culver City station later this summer.

3 replies

  1. If budget was not an issue, of course sub-grade and above-grade would be the choice for all transit lines in L.A. Running at-grade is about $100M per mile. Above-grade could cost 500M-1000M per mile depending on soul strength and how many utilities that have to be relocated for installing pylons. Below-grade, well, that is a whole different story. 1B-5B per miles for below-grade. Trenches are good, like the Alameda Corridor and the part trench/part subway of the flower/exposition turn off which is probably 200M-800M per mile. I am not sure about the cost of trenches, but Metro and authorities that construct these lines have to keep cost in mind. However, like you stated, I am happy the line is there and it is still faster than taking the bus.

  2. Your right, in a perfect world complete grid separation would make for an amazing, fast and efficient transit system in our county and I think metro agrees with that and would like nothing but to do that very thing. Unfortunately financing is a problem and an alternative is better than nothing at all. We have to work with what we have and metro, in my opinion, has thus far been doing a good job. But your right it can be a problem. The worst part of the gold line is when it travels i mean crawls 😉 through the center of that street in highland park but Im just grateful that the lines there.

  3. I still think at-grade crossings for the Expo line is a problem, not a problem for the neighborhoods around the line, but a problem for the Expo Line itself. I’m afraid at-grade crossings will constrain the capacity and the speed of the line. This is what happened with the Blue and Gold Lines. I guess we should learn something from the past.