Fri, May

10 Questions to Ask For a “Green Line to LAX”

GETTING THERE FROM HERE - After experiencing a solid Metro presentation for the Green Line to LAX Project Monday night, it became evident that there were questions to be answered, and yet remained unanswered, because a host of different groups will need to meet and find out where each group stands on this project.

Equally important is the need for each individual group—such as LA World Airports, the Westchester community, the Century Blvd. and Sepulveda Blvd. business communities, and Metro—to find consensus as a group before finding common ground with the other major players in the mix.  So here are some questions for the groups—and the rest of us taxpayers, voters and commuters, to ponder:

1) For decades, the plan was to have a Metro Green Line run by the airport, and to have a linking (indirect) LAX People Mover connect to the Central Terminal Area (CTA).  Is a direct airport connection to the CTA possible or advisable, given that the Westside and San Fernando Valley have no benefit from a Green Line that doesn’t proceed north to the Westside?

2) Is the current Green Line to LAX Project one that should be focused on the Mid-City, South Bay and Southeast LA. Cities for now, given the relatively small budget for this project ($200 million)?

3) The language for Measure R is to extend the Green Line to LAX Parking Lot C, not to LAX.  Is this what the county wants—and, in particular, what Westchester and the Westside wants?

4) The Century Blvd. businesses are excited about a LAX People Mover line (to be built by LA World Airports, or LAWA) that would connect the CTA to the future Crenshaw/Green Line at Century and Aviation Blvds.  Yet what if LAWA only decides to connect the CTA with MetroRail via a series of buses, or with a People Mover that does not stop at Century Blvd. hotels and businesses?

5) LA World Airports is, ultimately, an agency that takes orders from the Mayor and City Council—but FAA rules state that LAWA cannot be ordered to create projects that are predominantly for the benefit of the City and are not for its own operations.  Is a Century Blvd. or 98th Street LAX People Mover one that is properly a LAWA project, or one that should fall under the responsibility of Metro or the LADOT?

6) If the Metro Green Line, which is located to the south of LAX, is to enter the CTA and make the full loop of all 7-8 terminals, is it reasonable for it to then proceed north or should another rail line altogether access the Westside and San Fernando Valley?

7) If the Metro Green Line directly accesses the individual terminals of the CTA, then should that rail line be constructed and operated by Metro?  Alternatively, should a potential indirect linkage to MetroRail via a LAX People Mover be constructed and/or operated by Metro, and should it therefore use the same light rail technology as the Green Line?

8) The LAX People Mover Project is approximately 6 months (perhaps longer) behind the timeline of the current Metro Green Line to LAX Project.  Should both projects be completed together, or is it to Metro’s advantage to finish their project first?

9) What role should the other communities of the Westside (Venice, Del Rey, Mar Vista, West L.A., Palms, etc.) and the San Fernando Valley play in this project, considering that at best the project will only have MetroRail trains proceed as far north as LAX Parking Lot C?

10) Will this project be a major issue in next year’s City of Los Angeles elections for Mayor Villaraigosa’s successor?

(Ken Alpern is a former Boardmember of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Vice Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He is co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chairs the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at [email protected] He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us.   The views expressed in this article are solely those of Mr. Alpern.) –cw

Tags: Green Line, LAX, LA World Airports, San Fernando Valley, CTA, People Mover, Westside

Vol 9 Issue 86
Pub: Oct 28, 2011