This is a summary of a previous SCPC
Board event, from June 23, 2016.
2016 SCPC Board Retreat –
“Get on the Train!”
On In June 2016, the Board of the Southern California Planning Congress (SCPC) got together for a retreat, called “Get on the Train!.” The purpose was to travel on the new LA Metro’s Expo Line Phase 2 extension that culminates is Santa Monica and experience the ride.
Some members traveled on the Metro Gold Line light rail from as far away as Pasadena or on the Red/Purple Line subway to reach Culver City to connect with the Metro’s new extension. Some also took other transit lines and modes of travel, but all gathered at the Culver City station to begin the journey to Santa Monica together.
A station with options –
the next-train display at the 7th Metro Center station
Most of the Expo Line follows a train line that opened in 1875: the Los Angeles and Independence Railroad. That line was later used by the Southern Pacific Railroad, the Los Angeles Railway, and finally, the Pacific Electric Railway. The latter ended passenger service in 1953. Freight trains continued to use the tracks until the late 1980s.
The Expo Line (the ‘Purple Line’) is the first passenger train line on the Westside in half a century. Phase 1 of the L.A. Metro’s Expo Line was completed in June, 2012.
Here are the stations we stopped at along the way, learning more about a few of the neighborhoods served by the Expo Line Phase 2:
The Culver City Station is an elevated station adjacent to the downtown area of Culver City. This was the western terminus of the Expo Line from June 2012 to May 2016, before the Expo Line Phase 2 project was completed. Initially, there was a large parking lot on the north side of the station, but that is currently being turned into a mixed-use development. This development, The Ivy Station project, will be constructed in three separate buildings with pedestrian ways and open spaces between them, and will include office, hotel, and apartment uses, and shops and restaurants on the ground floor areas of each building. The station is ideally located within walking distance of Downtown Culver City and the Hayden Tract tech employment area.
Creative Metro advertising pieces, referencing things to see,
and L.A. pop culture to boot.
Our Board members gathering in the shade of the Expo Line
tracks overhead, at the Culver City Station
Many of the station canopies incorporate a common theme of ocean waves,
including this one at the Culver City Station.
The Westwood/Rancho Park Station is an at-grade station, located adjacent to Westwood Boulevard in the Rancho Park neighborhood of West Los Angeles. Project opponents in the local predominantly single-family residential area filed a lawsuit to stop construction, but they were ultimately unsuccessful. In the end, Metro decided to build the station without parking, becoming a “neighborhood station” under Metro terminology and relies on walking, transit, and bicycle trips for access to and from the station. The station is located within walking distance of the Westside Pavilion mall.
A station public art piece displays a Pacific Electric railway ticket,
the system that formerly operated in this corridor.
A modern-day rail transit line accessing Santa Monica
and the coast has been a long-time coming in L.A.
Another public art reference to the rich transportation history
on the Expo Line corridor
The Expo/Bundy Station is located on an elevated east-west structure above north-south Bundy Drive, south of Olympic Boulevard. The station has heavy vehicle traffic surrounding it, partly due to the proximity of nearby major freeways interchanges. On the ground level of this station, Metro provided easy access to and from Metro’s bike trail which can be seen along many segments of the right-of-way .
Colorful public art at the Expo/Bundy station
Public art referencing the previous coastal links
provided by the Pacific Electric system
An abstract geometry of the former rail line,
and the Pacific Electric system logo
The 26th Street/Bergamot Station is an at-grade light rail station located adjacent to the Bergamot Center arts complex. The Board had a light lunch here at the Bergamot Café and discussed the organization’s goals for the future. Many galleries and art institutions are housed in this complex.
Photos of Bergamot Station, the café,
and Board members taking a break during the Retreat
Downtown Santa Monica Station: The Board reached the end of the line in Santa Monica, with the grand arrival at the beach marked by a large pedestrian plaza and pedestrian and bicycle linkages in all directions. This is the new way to get across the LA area to Santa Monica without a car.
The newly-improved pedestrian promenade to 3rd Street,
Ocean Avenue, and the Santa Monica Pier and beach.
For many years, a rail link to the beach and Santa Monica
was discussed, and finally its here.
Within the station plaza, an art and
Our Board members and guests discuss this
major terminus station, and then go off to find some coffee.
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