SkyscraperPage Forum

SkyscraperPage Forum (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/index.php)
-   City Discussions (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=24)
-   -   Are LA's rail transit expansion plans enough to shift the city away from the car? (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=249564)

lrt's friend Jan 7, 2022 8:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrnyc (Post 9496374)
^ exactly!



true, but that happens with busses all the time too.

for example, here in nyc we got a lot of articulated busses several years ago. so you gained capacity, but then there were less busses, so you lost frequency.

its just something to be aware of and you have to advocate about it constantly.

i wasn't thinking of a bigger lrt train tho.

I have seen the same here with articulated buses. Capacity becomes more important than frequency. In the long run, this is a bad idea.

An articulated streetcar has a similar capacity as an articulated bus, but you have the cost of the rail infrastructure. Beyond that, we are getting into LRT size vehicles which need at least separate lanes to run effectively.

ue Jan 8, 2022 2:05 AM

Honestly, no. But it will help a lot. The amount of new rail infrastructure for a contemporary US city is impressive, but only by our current standards. Almost all of New York's subway was built in a 40 year stretch, and dedicating that much of an investment in public transit (be it LRT, subway, BRT, streetcars, or buses) to really turn things over.

LA is mostly built on a grid, so that makes it easy to just run rapid transit up and down it with frequent (2-5min peak) service. It's going to need to have a good network of buses to feed into the rail projects and the rail projects actually need to go where people need/want to go (the way the Gold Line just misses CalTech is so dumb, but the US is littered with examples even more egregious). BRT will need to be done on high density roads where rail won't work. A rail network at least like this below would be necessary to get Central-West-South Central LA and the innermost parts of the SF and SG Valley to be truly transit-friendly.

https://i.imgur.com/ZMaX3fV.png

ocman Jan 8, 2022 3:28 AM

I think tourists taking advantage of LA's growing public transit system will happen faster than residents taking it. It's starting to cover all the places worth going to in LA. The solution for residents is transit-oriented developments and minimizing parking requirements so that a large enough number decide its worth saving on rent vs the convenience of a car. And of course, just keep building and building and building out the rail system until it goes everywhere. I feel there's a critical point the system has to surpass before you see an explosion of residential transit rider. But that has to be in conjunction with making progress on zoning high density developments. It'll be considered successful when it reached Bay Area level, and that's really not a high bar being set.

lrt's friend Jan 8, 2022 4:10 AM

Start pricing parking or pricing it higher at strategic locations will encourage higher transit use.

kittyhawk28 Jan 8, 2022 5:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ue (Post 9496815)
Honestly, no. But it will help a lot. The amount of new rail infrastructure for a contemporary US city is impressive, but only by our current standards. Almost all of New York's subway was built in a 40 year stretch, and dedicating that much of an investment in public transit (be it LRT, subway, BRT, streetcars, or buses) to really turn things over.

LA is mostly built on a grid, so that makes it easy to just run rapid transit up and down it with frequent (2-5min peak) service. It's going to need to have a good network of buses to feed into the rail projects and the rail projects actually need to go where people need/want to go (the way the Gold Line just misses CalTech is so dumb, but the US is littered with examples even more egregious). BRT will need to be done on high density roads where rail won't work. A rail network at least like this below would be necessary to get Central-West-South Central LA and the innermost parts of the SF and SG Valley to be truly transit-friendly.

https://i.imgur.com/ZMaX3fV.png

For what its worth, this is Metro's eventual full-buildout plans look like:
Measure R & M projects + Strategic Unfunded Projects:

https://i.redd.it/4hj0wytodca81.png

It's definitely not bad, and I could see this map realistically being built by the 2040s if another transit tax measure or two are approved in the next 2 decades. SGV is much better served with the addition of the Silver Line, but admittedly rail transit there would be overly focused around DTLA, whereas West LA would have a more convenient grid structure.

You drew some rail lines on the Harbor Subdivision, which is eventually planned to handle a direct LAX-Union Station Metrolink line at some point. Other than that, some of the lines you drew in West LA are right now being built as BRT lines (such as the line down Venice Blvd). I think building BRT while laying the barebones of the rail network is a good strategy for Metro, as it sets up future corridors for conversion to rail when ridership necessitates it.

ue Jan 8, 2022 6:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kittyhawk28 (Post 9496889)
For what its worth, this is Metro's eventual full-buildout plans look like:
Measure R & M projects + Strategic Unfunded Projects:

https://i.redd.it/4hj0wytodca81.png

It's definitely not bad, and I could see this map realistically being built by the 2040s if another transit tax measure or two are approved in the next 2 decades. SGV is much better served with the addition of the Silver Line, but admittedly rail transit there would be overly focused around DTLA, whereas West LA would have a more convenient grid structure.

You drew some rail lines on the Harbor Subdivision, which is eventually planned to handle a direct LAX-Union Station Metrolink line at some point. Other than that, some of the lines you drew in West LA are right now being built as BRT lines (such as the line down Venice Blvd). I think building BRT while laying the barebones of the rail network is a good strategy for Metro, as it sets up future corridors for conversion to rail when ridership necessitates it.

Oh, this one's a bit different from the ones you showed in the original post. I do like this a bit better. But, it's also hard to see exactly where these lines are supposed to go, especially without any labels on the Google Maps you used. It'd be helpful if there was a custom Google Map where users could zoom in to see where everything is supposed to go. I tried to do a search, but the ones I came up with either seemed outdated or more "fantasy" maps than what is actually proposed.

I still have some reservations about this unfunded build-out:
- The Green Line should hug closer to Venice itself. Probably go down Abbot Kinney and then down Main or Pacific thru to Santa Monica. This would hit the denser and more destination-worthy parts of Venice that are actually where people want to go.
- Similarly, on the Green Line, when it gets down to Torrance, it should probably stop using the old right of way briefly around Old Torrance - a gridded and walkable neighbourhood in its own right that would benefit from more direct access to light rail. There is room at Dominguez Way, which turns into Van Ness and then Cabrillo, and then it can meet back up with the old ROW that the Green Line really wants to use. Not much different than the Purple Line dipping off Wilshire to get to Century City briefly.
- I really hate the zig-zag of the Crenshaw line you show (I know there's alternates) north of the Expo Line. It's inefficient in what is a very gridded part of LA. Have it go straight up to Wilshire and then bump it slightly over to Western and have it go straight north. If you need something down La Brea or Fairfax, have a separate, straight LRT or BRT instead. Makes for more efficient trips for a greater variety of riders.
- The NoHo-Pasadena line is great (it's basically one of the ideas I shared) but it should continue down Colorado or Green to get directly to CalTech...it's extremely short-sighted that they cheaped out with the Gold Line as it's not really convenient to the university (and universities are generally great ridership gainers)

And even still, while all these efforts are great, and certainly more impressive than anything Chicago or New York have done in generations, it still isn't enough. There really needs to be a major shift in funding towards transit, far greater than current capacities, to make LA anything approaching New York or Chicago for transit modal share. There needs to be more redundancies in dense areas (the general arc from Santa Monica/Venice to DTLA, and perhaps from DTLA into South Central) to make transit exceptionally useful and get people literally anywhere they need to go. The road layout in these areas is already conducive to this, so why not?

I agree with you though -- it doesn't all have to be rail, of course. Frequent, all-day bus service is a start, and that could be upgraded to BRT later, and then LRT/HRT if ridership grows. But there's no reason why Melrose, Fairfax, La Brea, Venice*, Santa Monica, Washington, Pico, Western, Slauson, Vernon, Avalon, etc can't have a well-oiled transit grid right now that can be upgraded later. This is what Toronto does and it arguably has the most successful transit system north of Mexico on this continent.

Also, there is very clearly an old ROW in the Beach Cities that follows Valley/Ardmore. How has this not been in the discussion (or perhaps it has, and I have missed it)? Seems like a low hanging fruit to me because it gets you a lot closer to the most popular destinations in that area (Manhattan Village, the literal beaches) than the Green Line ever will.

Another thing with this build out is that despite all the track it's adding, it still feels kind of bare. I get it - LA County is huge - but I think for the city to try and give an alternative to the car-centric lifestyle so prevalent in the region, it would better spend its efforts focusing first on the areas most conducive to transit (the older, gridded areas that already have main streets, dingbats, etc) and building out from there to more suburban areas. Some exceptions of course, like Century City, as they are major regional destinations, and the 405 line because it would probably help congestion a lot. But I'd rather see a line down Santa Monica from West LA to Silver Lake and then back down to DTLA via Sunset than spreading out far into the SGV or SFV.

* I see you noted the BRT for Venice Blvd and that's great!

Quixote Jan 8, 2022 7:17 AM

Based on the current slate of projects? No. But what we do know is that people will actually ride rail provided it takes them to places they want to go. The Expo Line was completed in 2016 and broke its 2030 forecasted ridership only a few years thereafter. Ridership projections for Crenshaw northern extension alternative have ridership density that exceeds Boston's T.

Is it possible to orient the city/metro toward transit? Absolutely. Build a subway along every major commercial corridor and line it with mixed-use mid-rises, bus-only lanes, bike lanes, sidewalk extensions, mid-block crossings, etc. Triple/quadruple track Metrolink, so that there's local and express service.

Metro Rail's peak ridership was I believe 370K-ish. Purple Line extension, Crenshaw northern extension, Regional Connector, and Sepulveda should add another 300-400K riders. Then factor in a potential heavy rail extension down Vermont plus a subway underneath SMB (connecting WeHo to DT, with a stop at Vin Scully Ave. for Dodger Stadium), and you're already at 1 million riders.

It's certainly within the realm of possibility that LA could match the transit share of Chicago and DC. We have double their population, so double their rail ridership (both around 700-800K).

Quixote Jan 8, 2022 7:25 AM

Also would like to point out that LA's decline in rail ridership was due in large part to the partial closure of the Blue Line and that douchebag Phil Washington (Metro's now ex-CEO) reducing headways to 20 minutes after 8 p.m. just to save a few million dollars.

mhays Jan 8, 2022 5:19 PM

You'll need a lot more than rail to approach those cities in transit commute share -- a multiple of other types of transit commutes too. Metro commute shares from 2019 ACS:
-DC: 13.1%
-Chicago: 12.4%
-LA: 4.8%

While we're at it:
-Atlanta: 2.8%
-Baltimore: 5.9%
-Boston: 13.4%
-Dallas: 1.3%
-Denver: 4.5%
-Detroit: 1.4%
-Houston: 2.0%
-Miami: 2.9%
-MSP: 4.5%
-NY: 31.6%
-Philly: 9.4%
-Phoenix: 1.8%
-Pittsburgh: 6.0%
-Portland: 6.7%
-SD: 2.8%
-SF: 18.9% (& 4.7% SJ)
-Seattle: 10.7%

Quixote Jan 8, 2022 7:39 PM

Wait until the Purple Line extension (2027), Regional Connector (2023), Crenshaw Line (late 2022 or early 2023), LAX people mover (2023), and at least the first phase of the Sepulveda line are completed and the pandemic is comfortably behind us. Those projects will hit the following employment centers:

Downtown (Bunker Hill and Civic Center)
Miracle Mile
Beverly Hills (Golden Triangle)
Century City
Westwood
UCLA
VA campus
LAX

SAN Man Jan 8, 2022 8:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhays (Post 9497063)
You'll need a lot more than rail to approach those cities in transit commute share -- a multiple of other types of transit commutes too. Metro commute shares from 2019 ACS:
-DC: 13.1%
-Chicago: 12.4%
-LA: 4.8%

While we're at it:
-Atlanta: 2.8%
-Baltimore: 5.9%
-Boston: 13.4%
-Dallas: 1.3%
-Denver: 4.5%
-Detroit: 1.4%
-Houston: 2.0%
-Miami: 2.9%
-MSP: 4.5%
-NY: 31.6%
-Philly: 9.4%
-Phoenix: 1.8%
-Pittsburgh: 6.0%
-Portland: 6.7%
-SD: 2.8%
-SF: 18.9% (& 4.7% SJ)
-Seattle: 10.7%

Do you know which of these cities had a drop in transit share leading up to 2019? I know a lot of cities transit agencies were reporting lower numbers for consecutive years.

Now that the mid-coast Trolley extension has opened, busses rerouted to new transit centers serving the extension, I would think that San Diego hit rock bottom in 2019-2020.

I'll be honest, I had no idea it was as low as 2.8%. SANDAG just voted to approve a $160 billion transit plan last month.

Quixote Jan 8, 2022 8:13 PM

And while those and other rail projects are underway, residential mid-rises and skyscrapers will also be built and streetscape improvements made.

A nice employment cluster is forming around the Expo Line's Culver City station, anchored by the Ivy Station TOD (which, yes, does bear some auto-centric design flaws):

HBO has leased the entire office component (240,000-SF) at Ivy Station for its West Coast headquarters. Across the street, Apple is planning a 565,000-SF addition adjacent to their existing 125,000-SF office. Scopely's new headquarters building is a block away, and Amazon Studios and Culver Steps (where Amazon has leased additional space) are both a 0.3-0.4-mile walk down Washington Blvd., which has already received streetscape improvements.

https://goo.gl/maps/HSXLKboxTBcHe1819

ue Jan 8, 2022 8:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhays (Post 9497063)
You'll need a lot more than rail to approach those cities in transit commute share -- a multiple of other types of transit commutes too. Metro commute shares from 2019 ACS:
-DC: 13.1%
-Chicago: 12.4%
-LA: 4.8%

While we're at it:
-Atlanta: 2.8%
-Baltimore: 5.9%
-Boston: 13.4%
-Dallas: 1.3%
-Denver: 4.5%
-Detroit: 1.4%
-Houston: 2.0%
-Miami: 2.9%
-MSP: 4.5%
-NY: 31.6%
-Philly: 9.4%
-Phoenix: 1.8%
-Pittsburgh: 6.0%
-Portland: 6.7%
-SD: 2.8%
-SF: 18.9% (& 4.7% SJ)
-Seattle: 10.7%

Apparently Winnipeg and Edmonton have greater transit modal share than DC and Chicago. That's pretty impressive or pathetic depending on which side you're looking from.

Quixote Jan 8, 2022 9:05 PM

This is roughly what I would identify as LA's core area for capturing transit ridership (sans La Canada and the SFV west of the 405), owing to one or a combination of: urban structure, density potential, low-income population, employment centers, and points of interest. Build high-capacity, grade-separated rail here and the riders will come. Of course there are other factors that must align with this program, but rail infrastructure is the starting point.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...80edefb019.jpg


The first four alternatives (the fifth has already been ruled out) for the Crenshaw northern extension all have forecasted ridership densities higher than DC's Metrorail, Chicago L, and BART. The La Brea alternative has a higher forecasted ridership density than Boston's T and Philly's SEPTA.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...a7af9773_z.jpg
Metro


The 12-mile-ish first phase of the Sepulveda line is forecasted to have a ridership density of 10,000+ per mile.

https://live.staticflickr.com/7828/4...387b00bf_c.jpg


And these two projects having connections with the Purple Line (and Red for the Crenshaw line) will likely push the Purple Line extension's (conservative) project ridership of 72,800 to 100,000, as neither Crenshaw nor Sepulveda were factored into the original calculated figure.

Doady Jan 8, 2022 11:47 PM

Los Angeles County spends a lot of money on bus service, not just billions annually for the fuel and labour costs, but also for the buses themselves. Those 2300+ buses are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and think of the amount rail they could immediately build with that money. And that's not even counting the plethora of other bus systems like Orange County and Long Beach. You can see how much rail the Dallas-Fort Worth region was able to build by limiting its funding for buses. It's time the Los Angeles region to do the same and start thinking ahead and building for the future instead of just living in the past.

ue Jan 9, 2022 1:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doady (Post 9497342)
Los Angeles County spends a lot of money on bus service, not just billions annually for the fuel and labour costs, but also for the buses themselves. Those 2300+ buses are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and think of the amount rail they could immediately build with that money. And that's not even counting the plethora of other bus systems like Orange County and Long Beach. You can see how much rail the Dallas-Fort Worth region was able to build by limiting its funding for buses. It's time the Los Angeles region to do the same and start thinking ahead and building for the future instead of just living in the past.

Doesn't Dallas also have hilariously low ridership on the DART precisely because the buses don't feed into the light rail system all that well?

ue Jan 9, 2022 1:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quixote (Post 9497240)
This is roughly what I would identify as LA's core area for capturing transit ridership (sans La Canada and the SFV west of the 405), owing to one or a combination of: urban structure, density potential, low-income population, employment centers, and points of interest. Build high-capacity, grade-separated rail here and the riders will come. Of course there are other factors that must align with this program, but rail infrastructure is the starting point.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...80edefb019.jpg

I agree - this is something I was championing earlier too. Focus on the denser parts of Central-West LA, the inner parts of the SFV and SGV, and South Central for all of these reasons. Not that people in Anaheim don't also deserve high quality transit, but it will be much easier to build a base of high quality transit-centric neighbourhoods in this area that could be built further out after this core was built up.


Quote:

The first four alternatives (the fifth has already been ruled out) for the Crenshaw northern extension all have forecasted ridership densities higher than DC's Metrorail, Chicago L, and BART. The La Brea alternative has a higher forecasted ridership density than Boston's T and Philly's SEPTA.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...a7af9773_z.jpg
Metro


The 12-mile-ish first phase of the Sepulveda line is forecasted to have a ridership density of 10,000+ per mile.

https://live.staticflickr.com/7828/4...387b00bf_c.jpg


And these two projects having connections with the Purple Line (and Red for the Crenshaw line) will likely push the Purple Line extension's (conservative) project ridership of 72,800 to 100,000, as neither Crenshaw nor Sepulveda were factored into the original calculated figure.
I still don't get these huge zig-zags for the Crenshaw north line. They're so inefficient. Why isn't Western an option? It's more of a straight through route than any of these and is still a dense & well-used corridor. Then have a full expansion of the Red down Vermont, and have another line altogether down Fairfax or La Cienega. The only one of these that I'd sort of be ok with is La Brea.

jd3189 Jan 9, 2022 2:08 AM

Yeah, the Westside should be the focus for more density via transit and upzoning. That area has the most potential to be LA's equivalent of Manhattan or core SF.

From there, the rail system can expand from a multi-nodal standpoint to all the other major neighborhoods, attractions, schools, etc throughout LA county. Follow the same path as the existing freeways for major lines, and public transit will be a good option for a lot of people.

Quixote Jan 9, 2022 6:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doady (Post 9497342)
Los Angeles County spends a lot of money on bus service, not just billions annually for the fuel and labour costs, but also for the buses themselves. Those 2300+ buses are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and think of the amount rail they could immediately build with that money. And that's not even counting the plethora of other bus systems like Orange County and Long Beach. You can see how much rail the Dallas-Fort Worth region was able to build by limiting its funding for buses. It's time the Los Angeles region to do the same and start thinking ahead and building for the future instead of just living in the past.

Hundreds of millions of dollars isn’t enough to build much rail. In fact, it costs at least $500 million to build one mile of subway (with one station). The total cost for the first phase of Sepulveda will be well over $10 billion.

Quixote Jan 9, 2022 6:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ue (Post 9497401)
I agree - this is something I was championing earlier too. Focus on the denser parts of Central-West LA, the inner parts of the SFV and SGV, and South Central for all of these reasons. Not that people in Anaheim don't also deserve high quality transit, but it will be much easier to build a base of high quality transit-centric neighbourhoods in this area that could be built further out after this core was built up.

LA needs a dense heavy rail system (think lines spaced 1-1.5 miles apart) traversing that geographic area. The problem with LA though is that while it has the population, the medium-high density isn’t enough to unequivocally warrant heavy rail. But at the same time, it’s too dense and congested for conventional at-grade LRT.

Quote:

I still don't get these huge zig-zags for the Crenshaw north line. They're so inefficient. Why isn't Western an option? It's more of a straight through route than any of these and is still a dense & well-used corridor. Then have a full expansion of the Red down Vermont, and have another line altogether down Fairfax or La Cienega. The only one of these that I'd sort of be ok with is La Brea.
Politics. WeHo supported Measure R by 86% (more than any other municipality), and they want rail. The original plan however was for there to be HRT underneath SMB starting from Hollywood/Highland and then interlining with the Purple Line in Beverly Hills. That alternative wasn’t pursued because it was deemed not cost-effective enough to be competitive for federal New Starts funding. The Crenshaw northern extension was viewed as a separate project going straight up La Brea.


All times are GMT. The time now is 6:37 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.