Transportation headlines, Thursday, June 19

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Do all roads to Century City’s future lead to more traffic? (L.A. Times) 

Very interesting story — easily could have been longer and there’s some fascinating video of the old 20th Century Fox backlot being demolished to make way for the Century City development.

The original vision for Century City was a place where Westsiders could work, live and play (my words, no theirs). But it didn’t turn out that way. The number of workers is double original projections and the number of residents is nowhere close to what was expected. Without mass transit or the Beverly Hills Freeway being built, the result has been twofold: lots of traffic and a lot of office space that competes directly with real estate downtown Los Angeles. In fact, vacancy rates in Century City are lower than in DTLA, which is served by transit.

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky is quoted as saying that such a large development would never be allowed today without transit being built alongside it. That’s probably right and the article, unfortunately, needed more space to explain the delays in getting transit to Century City. On the upside, the Purple Line Extension subway is scheduled to arrive at the center of Century City in 2026.

Muffler shops or cafes? East L.A. plans for the future (Eastsider LA)

A new zoning plan for East L.A. is working its way through the process. As proposed, it would allow for more transit-oriented development along the past of the Gold Line on 3rd Street and other commercial corridors in the area. It would be great to see more new development along 3rd Street, in particular.

LAX to expand FlyAway service to Santa Monica and Hollywood (L.A. Times) 

Good news for those looking for an alternative to driving to the airport. The fares will be $8 for a one-way trip and the new locations will join existing FlyAway service between LAX and four locations: Union Station, Westwood, Van Nuys and Expo/La Brea.

San Gabriel Valley business leaders urge Metro to build promised Gold Line extension to Claremont (San Gabriel Valley Tribune) 

The biz leaders say they want funding for an Azusa-to-Claremont for the Gold Line Foothill Extension segment in Metro’s Short-Range plan, which details funding for transit projects in the next decade. At present, the only projects listed in the plan are projects already receiving Measure R funding; the Azusa-Claremont segment is outside the bounds of Measure R, along with other unfunded projects in Metro’s long-range plan. The Pasadena-to-Azusa segment is under construction and is scheduled to open in early 2016.

Senators Murphy (D) and Corker (R) propose 12 cents gas tax increase (Streetsblog Network) 

In an attempt to stave off the Highway Trust Fund going broke, a bipartisan proposal to raise the current 18.4 cents a gallon by 12 cents over the next two years. The federal gas tax hasn’t been raised in 20 years.

14 replies

  1. Yes, the Metro’s board should be elected directly by the people. We do not need a part-time board using Metro’s $5+ annual budget for their own political benefit and not for the good of the whole community. The new board should be a SIX-YEAR ONE-TERM staggered. Another requirement other than being 18-years old or older would be an understanding of government accounting and expertise in transportation.

    We have seen waste of money for political purposes on many projects. We have seen micromanagement that does not help anyone. We need a Board independent of other outside interest like we have now.

    Today, the majority of the 13 board members have a tie with Los Angeles City! San Gabriel Valley had to fight for everything while the majority of transportation funding is on the Westside!

    This is only a start, as long as we have all the various transportation agencies, each doing its own thing and lack of a workable regional master plan than is not followed, we have a constant gridlock for decades, if not centuries to come.

  2. The weblink to “LAX to expand FlyAway bus service to Santa Monica and Hollywood” is broken. Can you please fix it? Thanks.

    • Hi Ross;

      Sorry about that — it is fixed!

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. I personally don’t mind living in a high rise condo. I don’t see the attractiveness of living in a big suburban home where I have to spend money to take care of the lawn and yard, and doing constant home improvements all the time.

    Build a condo closer to where the jobs are and make it affordable enough for the average person to buy and not price it at $1 million dollars, people will move in, especially the ones in my millennial generation. We’d rather be right smack in the middle of the urban city where all the action is than living way out in the suburbs. It’s stupid to be living in the suburbs these days anyway in these high gas prices, it’s a total waste of time and money and the freeways are jammed packed as it is.

    If Century City wants more residents, then just build a high rise condo. Everyone that works at Century City will move there. Lock the condo door, go down the elevator, walk across the street, go up the elevator, and you’re at work! Simple as that.

  4. Tom Savio,

    What’s the point of going to those board meetings? You’re only given one minute to speak everything that’s wrong with Metro. Just out of my head, you have wasteful spending, useless artwork projects that only eats up money rather than making additional revenue, massive fare evasion problems that was left unchecked for two decades, the ungated stations that’s only contributing to that problem, the TAP website that’s taking forever to fix, the awful station platform designs, at-grade rail crossings that’s causing so many added problems, the ridiculous flat rate fare structure, overpaid Metro employee unions and executive compensations, the list goes on and on and on.

    Can you fit all of that in an one minute statement? No, you can’t. And you wonder why Metro only gives people one minute to speak. It’s because they don’t want people to say everything bad about them because they want to continue milking the taxpayers’ money all for themselves. Since they cannot deny the people’s freedom of speech, they do the next best thing: regulate it to one minute.

  5. Steve, I’ll respect your desire not to comment on these rediculas statements.

  6. The only way Century City can accomodate 43,000 workers to the equal amount of residents is to build a condo.

    But noooo, people here in LA don’t like condos. Waah, waah, it causes more traffic, I hate density, can’t they live farther away? You can thank NIMBYs for that.

  7. There use to be a Airport bus service that would pick up and drop off in front of the Hilton on . Los Robles and Cordova Pasadena, CA. Not on the Hilton property! They made that clear to me one rainy day. Anyway, it would be nice to bring the Fly Away to Pasadena because taking the train to Union then transferring to the Fly Away is a pain in the foot.

    • Hi Warren;

      I’d love if the FlyAway came to Pasadena! I’ve done the Flyaway to/from Gold Line a few times. It’s not too bad a hassle although it’s a bit of walk through the tunnel; it definitely helps to have luggage with wheels.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • LAX buses serving Pasadena would be most welcome! How many could METRO buy with the $15-$30 BILLION it wants to spend on a toll tunnel underneath Pasadena?

  8. Hmm. Century City. No transit, and NO PUBLIC SCHOOLS?!? And they wonder why the office/residential ratio is so skewed?

    I must have Century City mixed up in my mind with some other development in Los Angeles County, one that was created for the specific purpose of giving a then-new Pacific Electric route someplace to go, and guaranteed customers. Any historians out there who might know what I might be thinking of?

  9. Supervisor/METRO board member Zev Yaroslasky closed yesterday’s METRO Board meeting with the caution that METRO has a negative image because of how it spends money and that reputation had even drawn the attention of the FBI in the past– something he does not want repeated. Thus, I urge all LA METRO customers/stakeholders to attend at least one board meeting to see how our tax dollars and futures are decided by this board of political appointees and then ask if the public might be better served by a board directly elected by and answerable to the people. This morning I read that LA METRO is the region’s biggest and richest agency, yet we the people have little direct control over it except by voting NO on its billion dollar bond issues–which fortunately happened this last time with measure J.

  10. Concerning the over development in Century City and lack of the proposed freeway killed by Governor Brown during his first term. When the Hollywood Freeway was built land was reserved at Vermont Ave for the proposed soon to be extension of the Glendale Freeway. The land had been acquired at lest to Vermont by Caltrans. Brown was anti freeway and killed the plan.

    Today we still have remnants of the former Pacific Electric streetcar line on Santa Monica Bl. The medium in the middle of Santa Monica Bl. in West Hollywood was once the streetcar right of way. From Beverly Hills clear to Sepulvada Bl. the former right of way exists on the south side of the street.

    A practical way to solve the enormous traffic debacle is to rebuild the old line as a light rail line. At it’s west terminus it could in fact connect with the Expo Line at Sepulvada Bl. and extend along the Expo tracks to the beach. The east terminus could be on Santa Monica Bl. at Sunset Bl. But why stop there? The line could continue along the old P. E. route on Sunset Bl. to Park Ave., SE on Park Ave for one Block to Glendale Bl. East on Glendale Bl. to a new entrance to the old Subway terminating at the Subway Terminal where boarding platforms still exist and ramps( ADA compliant) to Hill St. between Fourth and Fifth.

    The MTA is considering putting a new measure on the ballot. Said measure must mandate the Santa Monica Bl. Light Rail Line be the number one priority for new construction. In addition said construction must be performed in a expeditious manner using techniques employed by major railroad as opposed to the slow construction we are currently seeing.

    A note in history: It took Henry Huntington six months to build the Long Beach line. It took the LACTC (MTA) predecessor three years to build the Blue Line along the same right of way.