When we last checked on the Crenshaw Northern Extension last summer, the Metro Board was selecting three potential routes for further study in the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Report.
The 45-day scoping period for the project begins today (Thursday, April 15) and ends Friday, May 28. This is the time when Metro gathers public input on what to study during the project’s upcoming Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). For those who don’t speak planning, the DEIR is a legally-required study that determines why the project is needed, what impacts it might have and what Metro can do about any impacts.
The Crenshaw/LAX Line that is currently under construction will end at the E Line (Expo) Station at Crenshaw and Exposition boulevards. This project will extend the Crenshaw/LAX Line north to the D Line (Purple) and continue to the B Line (Red) at the Hollywood/Highland station, with a potential last station at the Hollywood Bowl.
On a big picture level, this project would forge a light rail connection between the South Bay and Hollywood. The project would connect with five of Metro’s busiest bus lines and also offer transfers to Metro Rail stations in the LAX area, South L.A., Inglewood, Crenshaw corridor, Mid-City, Central L.A. and West Hollywood. Riders would be able to transfer to the E Line, C Line (Green), D Line and B Line — meaning riders could continue to places including downtown L.A, Santa Monica, UCLA and USC, to name a few.
In other words, the project is a big deal that would serve a lot of destinations and make our growing local rail network even more useful for many people. This is important to understand: under the Measure M plan, the project would not be built until the 2040s. But Metro — working with the cities of West Hollywood and Los Angeles — is exploring ways to secure funding to accelerate construction.
As part of the scoping period, Metro will host three virtual meetings to provide the public with a project overview and to capture stakeholder input and feedback on alignment alternatives. The meetings will be held on the following days and times:
Thursday, April 29,
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87500507019 Meeting ID: 875 0050 7019
Thursday, May 6,
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82996680178 Meeting ID: 829 9668 0178
Saturday, May 8,
10 AM – Noon
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84880363069 Meeting ID: 848 8036 3069
Comments will be accepted between April 15 and May 28. Comments may be sent by email to email@example.com or by visiting metro.net/crenshawnorth or call us at 213.418.3093.
Fairfax may be the best middleground option here for speed an access and is also the original planned route of the red line in the 80s before it was changed to Vermont. However, the importance of having some level of dedicated service to those key destinations west of there like Pac Design Center area, close access to the Sunset Strip, Cedars (don’t forget people work there too, it’s not just medical appointments), as well as other density should be taken seriously as an alternative service (perhaps BRT or Streetcar with median running) that compliments the more direct north south routing of the Fairfax or LA Brea alternatives.
In any case, I seriously doubt this line would be anything but underground north of Olympic (for Fairfax and LA Brea alternatives) given the density and traffic (maybe elevated or open cut along some of San Vicente up to Melrose but no at-grade street crossings as that won’t be desirable and would slow the line down), so the line should allow a pretty quick trip regardless of any meandering it may make.
The only way the LA Brea option would be best is if there were to be another dedicated east west metrorail line connecting it to West Hollywood but it doesn’t seem to be planned right now, but it should be. Perhaps an extension of WSAB could do this. And I’m sure some people remember metro’s proposed West Hollywood heavy rail extension plan from Wilshire / LA Cienega to Hollywood / Highland before measure J (2012) was defeated… oh boy wouldn’t that be nice to have.
Environmental Impact Report will be released on 2024 and won’t break ground until 2041. That’s an amazing 17 year gap. A lot of things can change in 17 years. The money might not be there. Most people working on this project will not be employed by Metro when ground is broken. The routes are totally ridiculous. It shouldn’t be designed for tourism. Hitting those major museums and shopping centers is not the goal. Metro should be designed for commuters to get to work from home. People holding bags of expensive clothing from Beverly Center are targets for robbery. The circuitous route is not ideal for commuters. Instead, they should add more parallel lines or street cars to reach those tourist spots.
So the tens of thousands of workers employed at Cedars Sinai campus, Beverly Center, Grove, Pacific Design Center, all the hotels, Farmers market, CBS, Museum Row, etc all don’t matter because they work in “wealthier” destinations? Just because the line would *also* be useful to tourists, does not make it a poor choice. Tourism accounts for a considerable amount of our local and regional traffic each day, especially in Central LA, where trips from so many different areas all converge, due to the density and number of jobs and opportunities alone.
Thank you for pointing all this out. For a few months I worked at 3rd/Fairfax. It was only about 6 miles away from home, compared to my old 15 mile commute, but even during rush hour it would still take about 45-55 min door to door because the car and foot traffic in the area is ridiculous.
Fairfax was clearly not designed to handle this kind of traffic at all, the street is narrow and so are the sidewalks. Expecting people to travel from Purple Line or Melrose to simply walk to the Grove because “it’s only a tourist trap” won’t exactly help anyone in the long run.
the routes are “totally ridiculous” and yet this line is projected to be one of the busiest in the entire system, if not CA, with 90,000 boardings a day. Already see those numbers on the major north-south buses that have to crawl through this central area. With fast and reliable rail (subway) those numbers could easily double if not triple.
That’s only if it’s fully funded by Measure M (worst case scenario). Other state, federal, local and even private resources may arise WAY before 2041.
I agree with you 100%. They should also delay the environmental impact report. The environment can also change in 17 years. The report that comes out in 2024 may not be a truly valid, or suitable report by 2041. My opinion about grade level trains along San Vicente is this…..DON’T DO IT. Grade level trains along San Vicente Blvd. will only lead to more pedestrian deaths. Just take a look at the other grade level trains that exist in Los Angeles. These above ground trains share space with streets, crosswalks, cars, etc. All of them have had pedestrian deaths. Do the research. You can find the fatalities reported. A very bad idea.
Hybrid is best! Adding five minutes to a line will not deter people going from the Valley to LAX. But it will bring the train into a walkable distance of so many areas full of jobs and money. Which also means density will increase in those job areas, with current zoning laws. The La Brea option makes zero sense: just trying to skip over the region without serving it. Only Valley and Ventura people like the La Brea option.
Why not all of them? They all serve great places and will connect people to where they need to go and places they might not have ever been to because of other factors.
Money. . . That’s why. The feds (nor even the state or even some local residents) are not gonna say yes to dumping money in WeHo if not everyone benefits from it.
A meandering line through West Hollywood is not best for ALL the region.
West Hollywood deserves a line, not just this one. It deserves a line starting at Hollywood /Highland, heading west out Santa Monica Blvd to La Cienega, then south to Wilshire (use the existing study material from early Purple Line route selections). Then in the future that line can continue down La Cienega with a stop at Pico to Venice and then to the Expo Culver City station. This creates yet another north -south line in this area.
La Brea is best (and I believe that is what Metro will pick)
-Shortest route- on such a long line (Hollywood to either Torrance or Norwalk) needs some speed
-Lower build cost- budgets are always an issue
But do it right, tunnel not elevated and with the Hollywood Bowl Extension
Perfect place for a mid week park and ride with all the parking lots and build a decent turn around facility with 3rd platform/track that will also handle the bowl crowds. (and then the true fantasy, it could head to Burbank in the future 🙂
La Brea misses all of the ridership destinations and was the least popular option from the community meetings. “Best” is a relative judgement. For people who only care about speed between Hollywood/Highland and LAX and not about access to the area, perhaps La Brea seems “best” to them, but not those people needing traveling to/from/within the destinations within this area.
This is not an “ideal” world. There won’t be multiple rail lines in this area. This one rail line has to serve varying needs, both speed and access. That the La Brea alignment hits so few destinations is disqualifying. Fairfax seems like a reasonable compromise between those who’s primary concern is speed and those who’s primary concern is access. An extra three minutes for the Fairfax alignment is worth the extra access to the area it brings. Even the hybrid alignment is still much faster than traveling above ground in mixed traffic.
Fairfax, enough said. Build it right or don’t build it at all.
La Cienega? Sure if you wanna go west beyond that. Sorry but this gets a D- cause of the routing. Yes it connects to a hospital, shopping center and a nightlife district but slow train no-no.
La Brea gets a Zero because it’s literally just a connector train with only one service much less destinations OVERALL from Torrance to Hollywood compared to the other 2. Not to mention having fun convincing Hancock Park residents to put up with this.
“Oh but La Brea has good bus ridership!” So does Fairfax and La Cienega. La Brea couldn’t even keep its all day Limited Stop service before the bus service overhaul.
when should we expect the initial Crenshaw LAX line to open, so we can better gauge how the southern section of the line will affect travel patterns going forward?
Date of the opening is to be determined. The big thing that must happen first is the contractor turning over the project to Metro. We’re hoping that happens soon. The project is 98 percent complete but there is some significant work to complete.
Editor, The Source
Given the 3 choices, Fairfax alignment makes the most sense. Though I hope WeHo also gets a BRT line dow the rest of Santa Monica Blvd to Century City.
For West Hollywood to have BRT on Santa Monica, they’d have to take out street parking and remove all the bulb outs. Simply not feasible. Since WeHo has determined to calm traffic on Melrose, there’s no alternative to SMB for car traffic. Simply no room for BRT.
This is really a choice between the Fairfax alignment and the Hybrid.
The LaBrea alignment would be a mistake. It misses all the key ridership destinations in the area. There are tons of working class jobs at The Grove, Television City, the Beverly Center, and Cedar Sinai. The LaBrea alignment would be like running the A (Blue) Line on Alameda and bypassing downtown.
La Brea makes the most sense connectivity-wise – it will enable the fastest and the most streamlined way to get from the Valley and Hollywood to Purple / Expo / South Bay. Plus, LaBrea corridor is densifying quickly – there is a ton of new construction in the area.
Fairfax could be a sensible compromise, but the “hybrid” version is an absolute abomination that would kill the usability of this line.
P.S. In the perfect Los Angeles of dreams, the LaBrea-running line would be supplemented with an EW-running rail line on Santa Monica, and BRTs on Sunset, Beverly, and San Vicente. Now THAT would be a transit system that serves all the key ridership destinations, and does it well.
La Brea will never densify enough to justify putting the alignment there. There is no conceivable project at Beverly and La Brea that Hancock Park would allow to be built that will compare with The Grove / Television City or Beverly Center / Cedar Sinai.
Compromise is the way to go. This one line has to balance those who primarily care about “speed” and those who primarily care about “access”. There won’t be multiple rail lines in this area. Fairfax could be the unifying choice here.