Helping other passengers, LAX people mover: HWR, March 15

The headline in the Washington Post says it all: “A man soiled himself on [the Washington] Metro, and a passenger did an unusual thing: ask for help.” The story notes LA Metro’s homeless outreach teams, which is unique in the U.S. The tweets included in the article:

In the news…

•The formal groundbreaking ceremony was Thursday for the $4.9-billion LAX automated people mover project. The people mover will connect with the Crenshaw/LAX Line and Green Lines at Metro’s future Airport Metro Connector station at Aviation Boulevard and 96th Street. Major construction of the station is expected to begin next year and both the station and people mover are forecast to be complete in 2023.

Both the station and future ‘Intermodal Transportation Facilities’ the airport wants to build will have pickup/dropoff areas where people can catch the people mover. The idea is to give people fewer reasons to drive into the very congested airport horseshoe, which I like to think of as the unhappiest place on Earth.

All good stuff. LAX is already the second busiest airport in the U.S. behind Atlanta and will likely stay busy. It’s no secret that airlines prefer LAX over other regional airports (some of which are also small). So the more options to getting to the terminals, the better.

Quasi-related: quote of the day belongs to Supervisor Janice Hahn, as reported by Curbed LA:

“In Los Angeles, the nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘hey, can you give me a ride to LAX?’” said Hahn Thursday. “In a few years, our answer to that dreaded question will be ‘no, take Metro.’”

The converse of that: I know more than a few people who consider giving a ride or fetching someone from LAX a great way to advance their chances with a sweetie.


•There has been talk for a few years now of improving rail service between Union Station, Glendale and Burbank. Urbanize LA runs through the options from a Metro study, correctly noting that improving Metrolink service has the lowest price tag. Funding, as usual, will be a big challenge — and hundreds of millions of dollars would need to be found for a new light rail line. Stay tuned.

•The BART Board of Directors voted to endorse State Senate Bill 50, which would allow more housing to be built near busy transit lines, reports Streetsblog. The contentious part of this bill — and a previous version that died last year — is that it usurp local zoning laws and could allow apartments to be built in neighborhoods of single family homes.

The bill’s author, Sen. Scott Wiener, says that he’s made amendments to address concerns over last year’s bill — with a focus on displacement. But I think this bill — intended to help fight the state’s housing crisis — is probably facing an uphill battle. Stay tuned.

•Gothamist rehashes an old post and ponders a question from a reader who wants to know if he should move to Los Angeles. You can guess the answer: No! Why? Gothamist’s Jake Dobkins says the weather is monotonous, the people boring and it’s too hard to get around and socialize.

This has a corollary when it comes to friendship, which is that you will never, ever, see your friends if they live on the opposite side of the city. In the rare event you have close friends who will even consider making the effort, you will spend hours negotiating where to meet. In New York, seeing your friends is easy, even if they live in different boroughs; you can just meet in Manhattan after work, get loaded, and take the subway home. This kind of thing simply doesn’t exist with any regularity in Los Angeles because the distances and costs are too great. Even now, when the advent of Uber has made it possible to have more than two drinks and not get busted for a DUI on the way home, Los Angeles socializing is still light years behind New York’s.

To some extent, this is true — especially when it comes to weeknight socializing. I live in Pasadena and the chance of me heading to the Westside for a weeknight dinner, then back to Pasadena, then back to DTLA the next day has become smaller over the years. We live in a huge area and that means it takes a little extra effort to get out and about. An expanding transit system combined with Uber/Lyft, scooters, denser housing, should help in future years.

As for the rest of the Gothamist post, some kernals of truth and a lot of the same old garbage.


Categories: Policy & Funding, Projects

5 replies

  1. Don’t build a rail line to Atwater Village, Glendale, and Burbank on the same ROW as Metrolink. It literally will require a transfer to all major points on interests just like how the 501 is now in Glendale.

    Instead, use whatever still remains of the old PE right of way and have it go underground or above grade everywhere else. Use 7th/Metro for Echo Park, Elysian Valley and Silver Lake connections.

    Or if Originating from Union Station (don’t) finally have it go via Dodger Stadium.

    Oh, and have it terminate in NoHo, abruptly terminating in Burbank is just not good here.

  2. Lets NOT waste precious transit funds building light rail from the LAUS area to Glendale/Burbank. It duplicates much of what we already have with Metrolink. Plus, I don’t know how you would squeeze it in to much of this right-of-way which already has to accommodate UP, Amtrak, Metrolink and “hopefully” one day, CHSR.

    Instead, lets finish the double and triple track from LAUS to Chatsworth and Santa Clarita (helps all users)
    Lets add smaller simpler stations in between existing stations
    Lets use whatever DMU’s we can run on mixed freight- passenger service lines, although I would think with Metrolink’s PTC system now, that should not be an issue , right?

    Other options in the Burbank/Glendale area, which in turn support feeding this system could be=
    >Red Line No-Ho to Burbank Airport- making sure to connect BOTH Metrolink/Amtrak stations
    >Extend Orange line from No Ho to Burbank Downtown Metrolink station, whether bus now or light rail later
    >Streetcar or light rail from Burbank Downtown Metrolink station, through Downtown Burbank and then down Glenoaks into Glendale proper and maybe ending at the Glendale Metrolink Station- would feed passengers from both cities to points north out of Burbank or points south out of Glendale.

    • Hey Mark —

      Thanks for the thoughtful ideas. I’d be interested in hearing ideas about connecting or improving connections between downtown Glendale to the Glendale Metrolink/Amtrak station. Seems to me that’s key. I know there’s bus service (Metro and Glendale) but I don’t travel in that corridor much and I’m not sure what folks think of it. Thanks!

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. Oh I see, nevermind, the picture isnt showing the other two planned walkways to terminals 1 and 7 respectively which are out of frame, and it looks like they actually added a new walkway in between the ones for terminals 2 and 3, which can’t hurt.

  4. The picture showing the overhead view of the people-mover walkways seems to be missing the middle walkway towards the terminal 5/6 area. I hope this is just an error with the photo production and not some revised plan to eliminate that access point as that would leave a pretty large gap between the other two which would be rather unfortunate.