As we all know, there are two routes being considered for Phase 2 of the Exposition Corridor Transit Project ("Expo Line"):
I would like to propose a third option: a short subway (similar to that used on the Gold Line Eastside project) along Overland and Pico. Stations would be located at Westwood Blvd (under the Westside Pavilion) and near Sepulveda/I-405/Sawtelle.
- a controversial route through residential areas south of Pico, and
- a less controversial, but slower route along Venice and Sepulveda
While more costly than the Venice detour, the Pico Subway would be much more useful in serving a very busy part of West Los Angeles. The Westside Pavilion area would also provide improved bus connections and parking possibilities.
Expo Line service on Venice is a laudable goal in its own right; therefore, provision should be made to provide a rail line along the entire length of Venice from Culver City to Venice Beach. (This would be done when funds become available).
Every effort should be made so that the design of the Washington/National station can accommodate a Venice branch.
Is it more expensive? Definitely. Would it be slower? Perhaps?
But consider the following advantages:
- It would completely avoid the most noise-sensitive of the residential areas (Exposition between Overland and Sepulveda) without the slowness and other issues involved in building a rail line along Sepulveda.
- It would provide direct access to a busy portion of Pico Blvd without getting caught in the heavy traffic along that street.
- It would provide access to the Westside Pavilion shopping mall (perhaps the station could have direct access to the shops)
- Shops, restaurants, and other demand generators near Pico/Westwood would be within walking distance of the Expo Line.
- Commuter parking would be available at the Pavilion (subject to an agreement with shopping center management)
- There would be an easy connection to bus routes (Santa Monica #7, Super 7, #8 and #12 as well as Culver City #3 and a proposed MTA Rapid Bus along Pico)
- It would revitalize the Westwood Pavilion and the surrounding neighborhood without adding more traffic.
- Another station would be placed near Sepulveda. The Pico Subway would allow for more choices in station placement than a route that would curve near Pico/Sepulveda.
- The Pico/Sepulveda station could (in the distant future) connect with a rail line in the I-405 corridor
Map of Expo & Venice branches
Map of Pico Subway and stations
(Note: Large files)