WeHo Agrees to Find More Money to Accelerate Metro’s Expansion Here

The inside of Metro’s Hollywood/Highland station.

The West Hollywood City Council last night agreed to take steps to accelerate the northern extension of LA Metro’s Crenshaw/LAX subway line through WeHo.

The vote was 3 to 1, with Councilmember Lauren Meister voting no. Councilmember John D’Amico was on vacation and not present at the meeting. Meister objected to the potential cost of the project to the city and uncertainty about where it actually will run within West Hollywood.

Since the passage in 2016 of Measure M, which authorizes a one-half cent increase in the county sales tax to fund Metro’s overall growth plans, many cities and neighborhoods have lobbied to be one of Metro’s earliest projects. In response, the Metro board has adopted an “early project delivery strategy,” which uses certain criteria to assign points to projects and rank their priority. The Metro extension of the Crenshaw line had been scheduled for 2041-2047. Accelerating it means construction could begin in 2020.

One of the criteria for ranking projects is whether a local jurisdiction is willing to allocate at least 10% more than the required 3% contribution to the local project.  Among the other five criteria in that “partnerships” category are whether the area applying for priority consideration will streamline the construction permit process and whether it will establish a tax district to fund at least 10% of the local extension cost.

A memo to the Council from the city’s Community and Legislative Affairs Division says that “… the portion of the Northern Extension of the Crenshaw/LAX Line within the City of West Hollywood is estimated to cost between $1.4 billion and $2.2 billion depending on the final alignment selected after the environmental review. ”

The 3% match thus would cost the city from $42 to 66 million. To earn points in the early project delivery ranking, West Hollywood would have to commit to contributing 10% more, an amount that would range from $70 to $550 million, depending on the final route of the subway line and the timing of its construction.

Meister objected that the unknown amount of money the city was committing to spending on the future project could be used instead to improve existing transit options, such as the CityLine free shuttle service.

“I don’t think this is what our constituents bargained for when they voted for this,” Meister said.

The resolution adopted by the City Council also would authorize the city to engage a consultant to consider ways to attract private investments into the extension into West Hollywood and other options, such as tax on property that would benefit most directly from the location of a Metro station in WeHo or a local sales tax measure. That revenue would offset the direct costs to the city of the extension. Councilmember John Duran asked that the city consider putting on the March 2019 ballot a cannabis tax proposal.

Metro hopes that the Passage of Measure M, which was supported by 86% of West Hollywood voters and 70% countywide, will generate $120 billion over 40 years to fund projects ranging from the Metro extension to sidewalk repairs. An estimated 35% of the revenue would fund transit projects, 17% highway improvement projects and 2% pedestrian and bicycle projects. The remaining 17% would be allocated to cities for their own local transportation projects.


newest oldest
Notify of
Limits are Wise
Guest
Limits are Wise

We can’t dig or build our way out of this through transportation systems, housing, genetically engineered food or AI. We don’t not see the elephant in the room and IT IS US! “There is no point bleating about the future of pandas, polar bears and tigers when we are not addressing the one single factor that’s putting more pressure on the ecosystem than any other-namely the ever increasing size of the world’s population.’ Chris Packham. “I’ve seen wildlife under mounting pressure and its not just from economy or technology but behind every threat is the frightening explosion in human numbers.”… Read more »

Limits are Wise
Guest
Limits are Wise

We can’t dig or build our way out of this through transportation systems, housing, genetically engineered food or AI. We don’t not see the elephant in the room and IT IS US! “There is no point bleating about the future of pandas, polar bears and tigers when we are not addressing the one single factor that’s putting more pressure on the ecosystem than any other-namely the ever increasing size of the world’s population.’ Chris Packham. “I’ve seen wildlife under mounting pressure and its not just from economy or technology but behind every threat is the frightening explosion in human numbers.”… Read more »

David
Guest
David

The truth is Greater Los Angeles will need to continue to build a larger number of underground subways to accommodate an ever increasing density of people. In just 100 years we’ve gone from orange groves, cow pastures and oil fields to places like Downtown, Century City and Mid-Wilshire. What will it be like in 2118?

Cino
Guest
Cino

These costs are well within our budget. Not only are they efficient, clean and modern, can you think of a more beautiful small city a monorail would match! It suits West Hollywood’s forward thinking. The stations could connect within blocks of the subway.

http://www.monorails.org/tMspages/HowMuch.html

Cino
Guest
Cino

For an amount half that cost, West Hollywood could build its own monorail system or electric trolly!
http://www.urbanaut.com/Cost%20Data%204.htm
The last thing we need is to get caught up in LA’s black hole of transportation.

J Rose
Guest
J Rose

The naysayers and NIMBYs here haven’t done much research. MTA already plotted out likely stations along the, er, “pink line” through WeHo years ago. Obviously a major station would be at SMB/San Vicente, since MTA is already there. No-brainer. Other WH stops would be SMB/La Brea, SMB/Fairfax and (maybe) SMB/La Cienega, with an additional station at Cedars/Beverly Center in LA before connecting with the purple line at Wilshire/La Cienega. This is a smart plan: WeHo is one of the densest neighborhoods in LA county and it is thick with nightlife and thin on parking, so Metro use, both incoming and… Read more »

Steve
Guest
Steve

The “Pink Line” was rejected by Metro when the Purple Line extension was approved.

The only line that would enter West Hollywood would be a future northern extension of the soon to open Crenshaw/LAX line. From the south, it would likely travel LaBrea or Fairfax to meet the Red Line at Hollywood/Highland. West Hollywood officials would prefer a route up San Vicente.

M Dolan
Guest
M Dolan

The “Pink Line” was simply a creative name that the original Eastside Working Group began referring to this extension of the Purple Line.

Just a fun pseudonym that referred to the Purple Line Extension through West Hollywood.

The Lobbying efforts of West Hollywood and Lobbyist successfully have and continue to work just which North/West artery The Purple Line Extension will be selected.

Steve
Guest
Steve

They are working on selecting the route for the Crenshaw northern extension.

The Purple Line is being extended along Wiltshire through Beverly Hills and Century City terminating at the VA Hospital. It will not enter West Hollywood.

J Rose
Guest
J Rose

MTA is referring to the Crenshaw line’s northern expansion as through “West Hollywood” (the line is currently an olive drab on Metro maps). Technically that could include a Fairfax or La Brea alternative, but almost everyone has been on board with the San Vicente/SMB route. Not only because Metro owns the property at that intersection but because the line along San Vicente would be aboveground, as the width of that street allows for it. That’s far less expensive than an underground line, which you’d need for a Fairfax or La Brea route.

Randy
Guest
Randy

If we can have only one stop on the Crenshaw extension, I’d prefer Fairfax. Not just because I live 2 blocks from there, but because Fairfax is more central West Hollywood than La Brea, which is right on the border. Even just that one stop on Fairfax would open up the system to people in the area, allowing them easier access to downtown, LAX, and to Hollywood and Highland, which would connect us to North Hollywood, and all red line stops east of Hollywood and Highland. Of course, the 217 and 780 buses both go to Hollywood and Highland from… Read more »

Steve
Guest
Steve

Fairfax is the likely compromise route which still hits key population points. The portion on San Vicente from Venice to Olympic could be above ground then subway to Hollywood/Highland.

The full San Vicente routing creates a circuitous line that adds too much time for commuters

M Dolan
Guest
M Dolan

Thanks J Rose. I too am onboard with the City and the Lobbyist for the Northern extension. Yes, it has been clear that this preferred route is partially above ground.

Similar to the Red line, it splits at Wilshire to keep going North or transfer West still on the Red line.

Al
Guest
Al

The 3% local contribution cost is split between the jurisdictions along the entire line. Therefore, the city of L.A. will contribute a significant portion of the 3% cost. http://theplan.metro.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/measurem_ordinance_16-01.pdf

MryJtc
Guest
MryJtc

There will likely be a subway on Fairfax or LaBrea…this is more than sufficient before you bankrupt the city with this, or tax to death property owners who are already stretched to the max. I question the judgement of those who are trying to “expedite’ this at a huge cost for a city of only 36,000! And I agree with Eric. We need to maintain whatever village is left of what used to be a peaceful, vacation destination. Now it’s becoming non-stop noisy place with sirens daily. Those who aren’t well traveled may not appreciate what we have here. Leave… Read more »

MryJtc
Guest
MryJtc

Stop taxing us to death! An extra 70 to 550 million? wow, what a range. This money grab is absurd. Wait your turn. There’s no guarantees in government, they just want your dough. It will be built when it’s ready to be built.

J Simmons
Guest
J Simmons

I am very in favor of the Subway. However 40 years ago, I was excited to take the Subway to Fairfax High. Now, just glad to see the wilshire line go west. Yeah, of course it would be “nice” to have a stop in weho. But it makes absolutely no sense economically, terrain, street grid and technically low ridership (compared to stops planned in B.H. and Century City.) I’m feeling sales tax is too high already. It would be a waste of money. The DASH line that went from Cedars, up La Cienega, then winding to Hollywood & Highland would… Read more »

Jose Alberto Hermosillo
Guest

Interesting point. The Dash buses have weird routes and schedule that very few can figure out, those buses stop running until 8pm and very few people ride them. Many people wait at 10PM,11,12am almost an hour for a bus on La Cienega/3er St/ Beverly/6th St.

The Dash system needs better planning, shorter rides and straight to the metro stations. A $5 unlimited daily pass will be ideal. Or let private buses start running in LA.

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

Kudos to Lauren for being the only Council Member for having the Integrity to the right thing. Spending the money to expedite the subway construction would only get it to us by a few years earlier. That money should be spent elsewhere as she said in the meeting. I believe in spending less money, not more. When the City does spend money it should be done in a responsible manner. Not only that, Bringing a subway station to West Hollywood amounts to bringing a portal to Weho for more criminals and homeless. We don’t need a subway station here. We… Read more »

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

A few years? Over 20 years earlier is not a few years.

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

In the meeting the staff said without expediting the project it would be here by 2040, if the City pays the extra money it would be here five years earlier. Imagine how traffic would be slowed down to a crawl on SMB during construction. go to any other train station construction site in progress and see the traffic mess. It’s just not worth it. City Council allowing contractors and projects like these to make Weho into just another city without our unique Village feel.

Richard Thompson
Guest
Richard Thompson

Haven’t you lost that village feel with the gentrification of West Hollywood by the Beverly Hills overflow? I refer to WeHo as East Beverly Hills, for this reason and the fact that as a city they do not have their own services (ie; police, phone, power, etc.) like most other cities in Los Angeles County do. Also, you should take a ride on any east west bus on Beverly Blvd., Melrose Ave., or Santa Monica Blvd. where these buses are often filled with a standing load. They stop at each and every stop to pick up and/or drop off. And… Read more »

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

Then let’s dissolve West Hollywood and go back to LA if you feel it is too late to save it. I don’t believe it’s too late and I’m eager to fight to keep wehos identity. I personally do not drive if I don’t have to. There is plenty of public transportation for me to use

B
Guest
B

Where on earth would this go? The traffic to build it would be awful! It’s already horrific