A trio of reminders:
•The Little Tokyo/Arts District Station three-month closure begins Friday at 9 p.m. to accommodate Regional Connector construction. Details here.
•ICYMI: Video rendering of new pedestrian tunnel between 7th/Metro Center Station and the Bloc in DTLA is here.
Oakland Tribune editorial: don’t get fooled again by Raiders’ demands (Oakland Tribune)
Kroenke blasts St. Louis in NFL relocation proposal (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Chargers play fast, loose with the truth (San Diego Union-Tribune)
3 NFL teams apply to move to L.A. (KPCC’s Take Two)
It’s a slow day transportation news-wise, so let’s turn our attention to a quasi-transpo story: the prospect of an NFL team or teams relocating to an eventual new stadium that is close to the oft-constipated 405 but not close to rail transit.
Attentive readers know the story: the Chargers and Raiders want to go to a shared new stadium in Carson, the Rams want a new stadium in Inglewood on the site of the old Hollywood Park racetrack. Of the two sites, the Hollywood Park is closer to a rail line — well, future rail line — and would be about a 1.8-mile walk or shuttle bus ride from the Crenshaw/LAX Line’s Downtown Inglewood Station.
Yes, there are bus lines near both new stadiums, but let’s face it — trains have more capacity than buses and don’t get stuck in traffic.
Two points of interestingness about this:
•Parcels for new football stadiums aren’t easy to come by in So Cal, so it’s not shocking that the parcels chosen by the Chargers, Raiders and Rams don’t happen to be near transit — and it’s hard to blame Carson and Inglewood for wanting a team(s) and a future Super Bowl(s).
That said, I’m a little surprised that in a region that is growing its rail network so little attention has been paid as to whether a new stadium is near rail transit, given our region’s chronic traffic anxieties. There was one exception: the DTLA stadium at L.A. Live that would have been a short walk from Metro’s light rail and subway systems. That proposal fizzled partly because it didn’t come from an NFL owner.
•The Chargers, Raiders and Rams do currently play in stadiums directly served by rail transit. From the Oakland Tribune’s story applauding local officials for not caving to the Raiders’ demands:
If Davis and the NFL pause for a moment, they should realize how much they already have here: Incredibly loyal fans. An affluent region with a strong economy. An already approved development plan that includes environmental clearances. A stadium site with excellent public transit, freeway and airport access.
•Finally, I personally don’t know anyone dying to have an NFL team here although I can see why the NFL thinks the L.A. metro area has enough people to fill a stadium (although UCLA and USC don’t always fill their games to capacity). The fact that the NFL wants to be here is a reflection of the fact that our region — warts and all — is an economic powerhouse with a lot of companies and industries the NFL would surely like to share sleeping arrangements with.
At least it appears that if a team is relocated here, the Expo Line-adjacent L.A. Memorial Coliseum is a strong candidate to host games for a few seasons. If that’s the case, take our poll please….
One possible measure on the November ballot in the city of Los Angeles would “impose a moratorium of up to two years for real estate projects that require an increase in the allowable density,” according to the LAT. But Mayor Eric Garcetti says that could get in the way of building more housing, including affordable housing — an assessment ballot proponents disagree with.
This just goes to show (again) how hard it remains to build in Los Angeles because of concerns over density, traffic and parking. As we mentioned yesterday, attempts to update community plans in L.A. have largely been incomplete although the completed Hollywood plan was successfully challenged in court and tossed out.
In theory, expanding our transit system in L.A. County — five rail projects are underway and more are to come under Measure R — should appease some concerns about density. But that doesn’t seem to be entirely the case. Your thoughts, readers?
Cities, cities, cities! Check out the maps, created using data from NASA.
Things to read whilst transiting: On the subject of pro football, remember Packers coach Mike Sherman? He’s now coaching high school in Cape Cod. Good story on the MMQB.
Things to read whilst transiting 2: Two stories about Star Wars on the New Yorker’s website and they are both worth reading: 1) What the seven Star Wars films reveal about George Lucas; 2) The George Awakens.
Things to read whilst transiting 3: 50 wonderful things from 2015, a nice list on the NPR Monkey See blog by Linda Holmes (who hosts the entertaining Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast each week). I was pleased to see the Judge John Hodgman podcast make the list. Attentive Source readers know — and this is a brag, as the Judge would say — that my case was on JJHO last year and there are more than a few milk-out-the-nose moments.
Recent How We Rolls
Jan. 5: the city of Santa Monica wants to build fencing to keep people off the Expo Line tracks.
Jan. 4: no love of freeways from one big L.A. media outlet and a fancypants new development along the Expo Line.
Dec. 31: a few thoughts on transpo trends in 2015.
Dec. 23: Lyft to LAX, Star Wars characters on transit.
Dec. 21: Silver Line to San Pedro.
Categories: Transportation Headlines