LA not surprisingly survives sports equinox; HWR, Oct. 29

This should not be shocking: there was more hype going into our region’s big sports weekend than there was news. Sure, traffic was soul-sucking on the 110 on Sunday — with the Rams, Kings, Clippers and Dodgers all playing home games.

But traffic on that stretch of the 110 is almost always bad, day and night. At least Sunday there was a transit system to provide an alternative way to reach the Coliseum, Staples Center and Dodger Stadium. Maybe not a perfect transit system, but a lot more than there was 10 years ago when there was no Expo Line, no Silver Line, no Dodger Stadium Express, no Eastside Gold Line and no Gold Line beyond Pasadena.

Another thought…

And by 2028 the Metro system will be bigger. The four rail projects under construction should be open — Crenshaw/LAX Line, Regional Connector, Purple Line Extension of the subway and the Gold Line to Montclair. Other projects should also be done by then — the Metro Board desires 28 of them, to be exact.

My bigger point: we are a ginormous metro area and we should be able to handle big events without everyone going bananas or envisioning a Traffic Apocalypse. Perhaps a bad metaphor: if our region was a whale, we could eat an awful lot of Jonahs before one-thin-minting.

As for baseball-related traffic, Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation is evaluating a proposal to build an aerial tram from Union Station to Dodger Stadium. That’s certainly intriguing, especially combined with the Dodger Stadium Express bus that has proven to be very popular. Neither can carry enough folks to eliminate driving to the ballpark, but extracting a few thousand folks from cars seems like a wise move.

The other big Dodgers question, of course, is whether Clayton Kershaw will be pitching for L.A. next season. My three cents: the Dodgers should keep him. Even if he’s not quite the force he was in the past, Kershaw right now is a better pitcher than what many teams roll out on any given evening. See: Reds, Cincinnati, or Padres, San Diego.

The other big news headed into this week and next is that Metro and several other transit agencies around L.A. County will be offering free rides on Election Day. It’s to be determined how many people use/need transit to reach the polls, but I don’t think it matters. The bigger deal, I think, is that we’re treating Election Day as a special day — when everyone can make a difference in their democracy. That’s cool. Glad to see Metro taking part in it. 

On the subject of transit expansion, Streetsblog LA had a good post about planning studies resuming for the extension of the Eastside Gold Line, which will eventually have two legs. One will go to South El Monte, the other to Whittier. Which gets built first is to be determined.

One topic I think gets lost about this project: how much better the Regional Connector will make it.

At present, the Eastside Gold Line runs between East L.A. and Union Station. That means that inbound riders from East L.A. get to the corner of 1st and Alameda and then turn north and away from the heart of DTLA. At Union Station, riders can transfer to the subway to reach DTLA. But transfers = time munch.

The Regional Connector will allow trains from East L.A. to run to 7th/Metro with stations at 2nd/Central (Little Tokyo), 2nd/Broadway and 2nd/Hope. That will be quicker than transferring at Union Station and should, I think, make the Gold Line from the Eastside a much more attractive option.

Here’s the map that helps explain it:

 

6 replies

  1. LA not surprisingly survives sports equinox EXCEPT the 102 decided to detour around the Coliseum traffic without notice posted anywhere. I was late for work after waiting for a bus that never showed up.

  2. It is disappointing that the blue line stations get the direct ride to Union Station when South Bay / Gateway Cities already have the express Silver Line that stops at Union Station. The Westside needs the direct train to Union Station and Pasadena more, given the current flow of commuters of different sectors and the reduction of Big Blue Bus Rapid 10 service recently.

  3. With regard to the Regional Connector, East L.A., Union Station and the Gold Line.
    If you want to get to Union Station, you lose.

  4. UCLA also played a basketball game on the 27th at PP (future Purple line….)
    PCC had a home football game on the 27th (against SMC), which added more crosstown traffic (Regional Connector anyone?)

    Olympics, yeah we can handle it.

  5. Here’s hoping they can have a timed crossplatform connection between the WB Gold Line and the EB Blue Line at the Little Tokyo Station. East LA transit patrons can also take one of seven bus routes directly to the Union Station area with stops on Cesar Chavez and Vignes. Expo Line riders who want to go to Union Station can wait 3 minutes in peak hours / 6 minutes in off-peak hours for a Blue Line train going in the same direction. I believe they studied which arrangement would benefit the most passengers, perhaps Steve can post a link to the information.

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