VA / Federal / Barrington Station Jan 26, 2010 9:20:09 GMT -8
Post by JerardWright on Jan 26, 2010 9:20:09 GMT -8
1) There will be a growing surprise when this happens sooner and not later (perhaps it'll be no surprise, and we'll only see this Subway make it to Century City over the next 10 years and folks will ignore this issue for now)
2) There will be a VA freakout when all sorts of people want to access the VA to get to the subway
3) There will be a growing "OMG!" when people realize that this isn't going to Barrington or Bundy, and that those one or two stop shouldn't have to be shoved into a Santa Monica link that potentially isn't needed at all
Ken, hopefully, you are right. However, I think the more people realize sooner the better. After all aren't people still in amazement they built the Green Line without connecting it to LAX, one of the busiest airports in the world, and here we are 15 years later and a connection is at best many years into the future? Similarly, I think people still think many of the Gold Line stations are not where they should be, but they still were built this way. Unfortunately, I think if the MTA is hell bent on building a station there, without public and political outcry at the very beginning, that is what will happen.
One thing you really notice when you are in the VA is how inhospitable it is to the general public. Say you arrive at the VA station and want to go to Santa Monica Blvd. From Barrington or Federal this is an easy downhill walk a few blocks to the South.
In the VA it is along a long circular drive that sends you far to the West and then back East, because there is no street grid in there. When I took these pictures, the VA gate at Ohio was closed to traffic and pedestrians so there was no way out at all even if you did that long walk. Now I would suppose there would be pressure on the VA to change that if a station was built there, but the VA is under no obligation to open those gates. After all, why would they want the general public roaming their grounds for access to a subway station. That is not their mission and just creates problems for them.
This would be urban planning at its worst as forcing incompatible uses on a property. They would be making what is likely to be the only west of 405 subway station for a huge community and putting it in a place where the public isn't even welcome! This happens while some of the few areas in all of Southern California that have the density to support this type of rail go wanting.
Because the stations intention is to serve Park-Ride trips and function as a major bus center outside of the Westwood station, because the Metro Planners have stated very clearly that the Westwood station will be one of the most heavily used stations in the system and if it is the terminus station as originally planned you'd have so many vehicles adding the congestion
I think that is one of the issues that either Barrington or Bundy will have to overcome is having to have parking structures incompatible with it's own land-uses if it is a terminus station.
So the VA site despite its inhospitable layout works as a park-ride lot just west of the 405 Freeway that also could double as a location for a 405 transit corridor when that is built, in case you can't tunnel through the UCLA campus or surrounding neighborhoods.
Keep in mind, Sepulveda is about the same distance to the proposed Westwood station as it is to the VA.
Also, by connecting this 405 line to Westwood this would allow two major positive outcomes to happen.
One, would be you could then have a UCLA station directly on campus or right next to it. Currently, from the North side of campus it would be a very very long walk to the Westwood station and even from the South side of campus it is probably too long to attract a great deal of ridership.
Actually you wouldn't because the corridor itself will be faster than the traffic congestion on the 405 because its a dedicated corridor and long stop spacing which would mean faster travel speeds even with the transfer to the Purple Line or a UCLA shuttle bus connection at the VA hospital site, UCLA commuter students will still save a lot of time.
Second, Westwood Village is a major destination in and of itself for transit users. By making them go to the VA and then transfer on the Purple Line, you are cutting out a lot of ridership as transfers kill ridership.
Transfer kill ridership if its a long process to make the transfer connection as the case between the Gold Line and the Red/Purple Lines at Union Station compared to 7th Street Metro Center or even the Imperial/Wilmington Station which is just a simple one level below the transfering line. I agree Westwood would be ideal, but there are constructability issues that need to be hammered out.
In my view, the advocacy SHOULD be for pushing a 405 Corridor MIS. The Westwood/VA or Wilshire/Barrington or Wilshire/Bundy station locations are moot arguments 'because we're pointing our guns inward' (Ken, you know that line well. ;D) until we find out where in the world the 405 Corridor will meet with the Purple Line.