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  #4701  
Old Posted May 26, 2018, 11:39 PM
numble numble is offline
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
There's really no network consequences to either Alt E or Alt G. With the realignment of Gold, Blue and Expo after the Regional Connector opens, it seems like both Alt E and Alt G would offer a direct connection between WSAB trains and Gold/Blue/Red/Purple, with Expo getting absorbed into the new Gold. Each option offers the same connections to other Metro lines. plus a bonus connection to Blue at Washington.

On the other hand, only Alt E would connect WSAB riders to the bus, Amtrak and Metrolink options at Union Station...

I dont really see the appeal of Alt G (what's up with the weird Pershing Square option?) Even if you're considering future extensions, it seems like Alt E is better in that regard, as it would (sorta) point in the direction of a Sunset line or a line to Glendale.
Here is Metro’s study of the destination of riders on the line, each dot represents 50 riders’ destination:

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  #4702  
Old Posted May 26, 2018, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
There's really no network consequences to either Alt E or Alt G. With the realignment of Gold, Blue and Expo after the Regional Connector opens, it seems like both Alt E and Alt G would offer a direct connection between WSAB trains and Gold/Blue/Red/Purple, with Expo getting absorbed into the new Gold. Each option offers the same connections to other Metro lines. plus a bonus connection to Blue at Washington.

On the other hand, only Alt E would connect WSAB riders to the bus, Amtrak and Metrolink options at Union Station...

I dont really see the appeal of Alt G (what's up with the weird Pershing Square option?) Even if you're considering future extensions, it seems like Alt E is better in that regard, as it would (sorta) point in the direction of a Sunset line or a line to Glendale.
I've always been pretty 'meh' about this project. The recent suggestion of HRT momentarily drummed up some newfound interest, but I concede that the idea has its flaws. One of those is the fact that it wouldn't really bring any new rail service to DTLA. Reading the tea leaves, HRT extension to the Arts District will happen regardless.

The appeal of both LRT options is that it would place a subway station on Alameda between 7th and 8th Streets, allowing the southern Arts District to continue its transformation from light-industrial wasteland to a dense residential neighborhood.

This is where the two options diverge--literally and figuratively. Option E generates even more service redundancy with the new Little Tokyo subway station on a route that already proposes interlining with the Blue Line. Option G brings subway service to the southern Historic Core and northwestern Fashion District, an area with solid bones and potential. In conjunction with the Regional Connector and Arts District HRT, this alternative lays the groundwork for a dense network of subway stations à la Midtown Manhattan, the Chicago Loop, and downtown DC.
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  #4703  
Old Posted May 27, 2018, 3:13 AM
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In conjunction with the Regional Connector and Arts District HRT, this alternative lays the groundwork for a dense network of subway stations à la Midtown Manhattan, the Chicago Loop, and downtown DC.
I'm not sure a dense network of subway stations is an end in itself. IMO the goal should be to spread the lines out over LA to achieve the greatest coverage. The Historic Core/Fashion District already has the best transit accessibility in LA, and will roughly double with Regional Connector providing access to the Eastside branch and the Pasadena/Foothills branch, so I don't see how adding one more line (to Downey and Artesia of all places) will somehow push it over the top in terms of local development.

OTOH, Alt E provides access to Union Station, including buses, Amtrak, Metrolink, and future HSR, and better supports development along the Alameda corridor through the Arts District which has no rail transit at the moment. I would prefer to see an additional station in this zone, maybe ones at Olympic, 6th and Little Tokyo between 1st/2nd.
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  #4704  
Old Posted May 27, 2018, 5:18 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
I'm not sure a dense network of subway stations is an end in itself. IMO the goal should be to spread the lines out over LA to achieve the greatest coverage. The Historic Core/Fashion District already has the best transit accessibility in LA, and will roughly double with Regional Connector providing access to the Eastside branch and the Pasadena/Foothills branch, so I don't see how adding one more line (to Downey and Artesia of all places) will somehow push it over the top in terms of local development.

OTOH, Alt E provides access to Union Station, including buses, Amtrak, Metrolink, and future HSR, and better supports development along the Alameda corridor through the Arts District which has no rail transit at the moment. I would prefer to see an additional station in this zone, maybe ones at Olympic, 6th and Little Tokyo between 1st/2nd.
Look at the study I posted. The riders are not coming from Southeast LA to head to the destinations that Amtrak, Metrolink, and future HSR will go, nor are they heading eastwards on the Gold Lines. They will be going to the employment centers in the downtown core. It makes sense to serve daily commuters than the non-frequent trips that Amtrak and future HSR represent. There would be multiple options for riders to make a convenient transfer to a line that will head into Union Station, but the Union Station to Red Line transfer to get to the downtown core is both a difficult transfer as well as being more time-consuming by requiring riders to double-back in the direction of travel just to get to their destination.

Both E and G have the same Arts District stop.

More commuters board in the Downtown core than at Union Station:
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  #4705  
Old Posted May 27, 2018, 7:55 PM
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I see the image but I don't know what it represents (no link was posted). What are the dots? Current transit riders to DTLA from along the WSAB corridor, who currently get downtown via the Blue Line or express buses? Or is it a survey of potential riders? Or not even a survey at all, but just something spat out by a computer model?

Anyway, I'm not sure the network structure of NY, Chicago or DC is appropriate for LA. Rather than sending a bunch of train lines into one concentrated area, it seems better to spread out in a grid with convenient transfers like Mexico City or Shanghai. Only 7% of LA's jobs are located within 3 miles of the CBD (source), so if LA is ever gonna get people off the freeways and onto trains it has to spread out instead of concentrate... as I noted before, going to Union Station with WSAB better matches up with a grid model, and offers better opportunities for a future extension beyond DTLA to other job centers. I'm sure Metro's planners are thinking along similar lines, or else they would have ruled out Alt E long ago.
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  #4706  
Old Posted May 27, 2018, 10:21 PM
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It isn't about structuring the rail network one way versus another; it's about prudent urban planning. DTLA is geographically large--roughly the size of Midtown Manhattan from 59th to 23rd Streets. In other words, it has enormous potential for massive residential *and* commercial growth, much of which will happen regardless. While it represents only a small portion of all regional jobs, who's to say that won't/can't/shouldn't change moving forward?
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  #4707  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2018, 1:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
OTOH, Alt E provides access to Union Station, including buses, Amtrak, Metrolink, and future HSR, and better supports development along the Alameda corridor through the Arts District which has no rail transit at the moment. I would prefer to see an additional station in this zone, maybe ones at Olympic, 6th and Little Tokyo between 1st/2nd.
You are mistaken about option E providing access to Metrolink and HSR. I think this is the reason why there are still people supporting option E. Metro is not being very forth coming about where option E will end but we know it WILL NOT be at Union Station because there is no room and Metro's Union Station plans which is pretty much locked in at this point. Metrolink, and HSR are also on the record opposing option E ending AT Union Station because doing so may interfere with their operations. Metro just went through a EIR on the Union Station rebuild and reached an agreement with Metrolink and HSR on how it will be setup and I see very little chance it will be changed. So basically, WASB will not end at Union Station.



The most likely result for Option E is it will put WASB somewhere between 1/4 or 1/2 of a mile in front of Union Station in a separate underground station. There won't be any easy transfers between WASB and existing Red/Purple or Gold (Blue) lines.

In order to transfer to HSR or Amtrak/Metrolink, there will be quite a hike. So would transfers to Red/Purple and Gold (Blue) line.

In contrast, option G should provide easy transfers to either Red/Purple or Blue/Expo, which will then provide a fairly short ride to the actual Union Station (not 1/4 mile away) and facilitate easy transfers to Amtrak or HSR.

Also, both Option E and G will have the same routing to lower part of Art District where you would like to see a new station.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
I see the image but I don't know what it represents (no link was posted). What are the dots? Current transit riders to DTLA from along the WSAB corridor, who currently get downtown via the Blue Line or express buses? Or is it a survey of potential riders? Or not even a survey at all, but just something spat out by a computer model?
The dots represent WASB rider destinations from Metro's modeling and analysis. Their data suggest vast majority of WASB riders are headed to Downtown transit core and adjacent areas (e.g. garment district), and the West side. And virtually none to Union Station area and northeast LA.

So Metro's own study so far suggests that taking WASB to Union Station (option E) will be a force transfer for the vast majority of riders. Whereas as option G to Transit Core is a real one-seat ride solution. And it is a much better transfer for WASB riders headed to the West side.

Read more about it here: https://twitter.com/safrazie/status/...on%3Fpage%3D11

Quote:

Anyway, I'm not sure the network structure of NY, Chicago or DC is appropriate for LA. Rather than sending a bunch of train lines into one concentrated area, it seems better to spread out in a grid with convenient transfers like Mexico City or Shanghai. Only 7% of LA's jobs are located within 3 miles of the CBD (source), so if LA is ever gonna get people off the freeways and onto trains it has to spread out instead of concentrate... as I noted before, going to Union Station with WSAB better matches up with a grid model, and offers better opportunities for a future extension beyond DTLA to other job centers. I'm sure Metro's planners are thinking along similar lines, or else they would have ruled out Alt E long ago.
The grid model is based on easy transfers. Without ease of transfer, there is no grid. Option E as I already explained, lack transfer options. It ends at best 1/4 mile away from Union Station and will require riders to walk a long ways to reach their next train.

Option G build up the grid but adding new transfer points to the existing system. And it has the added benefit of going to where people want to go, which eliminates a transfer.

Last edited by bzcat; Jun 1, 2018 at 1:53 AM.
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  #4708  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2018, 5:56 AM
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In my opinion option G is what makes sense. OC already has direct access to Metrolink and a future HSR line. What they don’t have direct access to is the financial district
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  #4709  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2018, 6:04 AM
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I think we are going to get a proper study to look at extending the Purple and Red lines instead. I've seen multiple politicians pushing for it.
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  #4710  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2018, 4:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Illithid Dude View Post
I think we are going to get a proper study to look at extending the Purple and Red lines instead. I've seen multiple politicians pushing for it.
Nice! I've been thinking this should be done forever, and I'm glad it finally caught on!
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  #4711  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2018, 5:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Illithid Dude View Post
I think we are going to get a proper study to look at extending the Purple and Red lines instead. I've seen multiple politicians pushing for it.
Red, yes. Purple, seems unlikely at this juncture. Also Metro’s willingness to inflate the cost of a subway extension for WSAB in order to kill that prospect is equally a troubling sign for the Red Line extension.
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  #4712  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2018, 6:25 PM
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I take it Illithid Dude was talking about the Arts District extension?

Scott, I saw your tweet about this “heavy rail revolt” from stakeholders last week. Is this something real or just an inference on your part? And if true, why didn’t the stakeholders demand more heavy rail projects when Measure M was being drafted?
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  #4713  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2018, 9:30 PM
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Oh the Arts District. Yeah, that is happening, he’s right.

The Heavy Rail Revolt was kind of a joke, kind of rabble rousing... but there’s a good answer to your question actually. It’s because Metro, despite its claims of a bottoms-up approach to planning the measure, actually didn’t really seek much public input about what people want from transit in LA. They did polls asking if people would vote for specific projects, but decision-making was devolved to the COGs, who are generally unaccountable to the voting public. Furthermore, they are largely comprised of a lot of 20th-century LA thinkers (even more so than Metro itself), and, given that they were operating only under the nebulous mandate of a Los Angeles “Traffic Improvement Plan,” they were free to do exactly what they did: increase funding for partially funded projects and extend partial funding to pre-existing unfounded projects. Very little new planning ground was broken by Measure M. The COGs just took what was already there.

The Heavy Rail Revolt, to the extent that it exists, is a reaction by the public to the somewhat underwhelming impact Light Rail has made on the transit landscape in LA. Things have changed materially since 1998, when Zev made a case that the Red Line was an egregious money pit and the Blue Line was the wave of the future. 20 years later, the exact opposite seems closer to correct. Who would ever suggest making a line like the blue line again? Add to that Expo’s popularity *and* its problems and you have a growing consciousness that we are spending a lot of money to get a fundamentally-flawed system.

And I don’t think I am totally fabricating this phenomenon FWIW. Since Measure M passed, we have seen calls to study heavy rail on Vermont, for the East San Fernando Valley project, to the Arts District (that’s a special case though), and for the Artesia Line. All of these may amount to nothing being built, but they are requiring Metro to respond with actual planning in a way that I at least find heartening.
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  #4714  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2018, 10:54 PM
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I also think there’s a chasm not just between Metro and the community, but also one dividing the general public and a minority faction of informed transit advocates. The passage of R and M is worth praising, but the public voted for these measures for the wrong reasons. They voted for traffic congestion relief (literally Measure M’s pitch), not a transit-oriented future. Most people are dumb enough to believe that a bunch of BRT projects will actually make a difference if you tell them it will (again, Measure M). The voting public can’t be trusted either because they’re only interested in treating symptoms and not attacking the disease itself.

Hell, there’s even a disconnect between us transit nerds (such as the above exchange). One side looks at things from a political angle and how we can best serve the status quo, while the other side is more urban-minded and interested in long-term planning. The former thinks it’s okay to have LRT on the Vermont Corridor and run it at-grade south of Gage, as they would rather use the extra money to build other lukewarm LRT projects. The latter contends that at-grade rail, even with signal priority, is not a match for grade-separated rail in terms of speed and reliability. They also realize that it’s better to get it right the first time and not have to worry about going back and doing a large-scale grade-separation project 50 years down the line, which would not only be substantially more expensive but also extremely disruptive. It’s a viscious cycle that needs to be broken.

I’m not sure where we go from here. Most Angelenos don’t care enough about this matter to hold their leaders accountable. Democracy is effective insofar as its participants are willing.

Last edited by Quixote; Jun 1, 2018 at 11:13 PM.
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  #4715  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2018, 3:13 AM
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That was Measure M’s pitch but we don’t actually know why people voted for Measure M. If communities are organizing to try to force Metro to study a variety of heavy rail corridors, that suggests they do care and aren’t happy with the alternatives being put in front of them.
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  #4716  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2018, 4:43 AM
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Yeah it is def frustrating but if there is a private company that wants to build/finance/run light rail for the line - quickly speeding it up and doing it competently - i'm with it
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  #4717  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2018, 6:12 PM
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I have never lived in LA but my opinion of the light rail lines as compared to heavy rail rapid transit is that light rail rarely has the ability to be completely transformative. A swarm of disorganized light rail lines is not going to substantially transform the character of the LA basin.

We'd be talking about a different place right now if the Wilshire subway had been constructed in the 1990s as planned and opened concurrently with the red line extension around 2001. The big question for LA is would a third rapid transit line in the historic and most walkable part of the county do more than continuing light rail construction into low-density areas.

Using rough cost estimates, would building a 10~ mile subway under Vermont and a new 15~ mile line under the full length of Santa Monica achieve a higher ROI than continued, random extensions of the gold line, green line, etc.?

It just seem that encouraging more high-rise residential in areas close to the densest job centers (DT, Century City, etc.) on Santa Monica and Vermont and in Hollywood makes a lot more sense than winning over a handful of drivers south of the Century Freeway.
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  #4718  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2018, 4:22 AM
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I would agree that a subway line along Vermont would probably have a higher ROI than a light rail line in the suburbs.

That being said, Measure M (which is funding all of this stuff) is a county-wide sales tax, and so it makes sense to spread transit projects around the county.

I also think that a regional system has a better chance to lower VMT, as the majority of people who live in LA county don't live in LA.

Those are really my arguments in favor of a regional light rail system fwiw.

Last edited by SFBruin; Jun 5, 2018 at 4:33 AM. Reason: Numbers.
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  #4719  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2018, 10:25 AM
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LA Metro and building of rail would not be possible without the taxes county wide. Would the people in the city of LA be able to afford to building the rail system within their own city borders with the sales tax? No. Actually, LA City uses the bulk of that money because it has to build most underground whereas most the out city projects can be done cheaply at grade or above grade, but not really tunnels. Thats why the gold line extension of 12 miles will cost $1.5 billion compared the 2 mile regional connector at $2 billion. or the 4 mile phase 1 of Purple line at 2.8 billion.
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  #4720  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2018, 7:06 PM
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Originally Posted by saybanana View Post
LA Metro and building of rail would not be possible without the taxes county wide. Would the people in the city of LA be able to afford to building the rail system within their own city borders with the sales tax? No. Actually, LA City uses the bulk of that money because it has to build most underground whereas most the out city projects can be done cheaply at grade or above grade, but not really tunnels. Thats why the gold line extension of 12 miles will cost $1.5 billion compared the 2 mile regional connector at $2 billion. or the 4 mile phase 1 of Purple line at 2.8 billion.
No, that’s incorrect. The SGV gets plenty of money and chooses to spend it poorly. Don’t blame LA for that.
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