The Valley Needs to Wake Up


The 818 is already choking to death on traffic, and with the MPAA’s announced move to Sherman Oaks, we are running out of time. Time to start talking new rail lines for the Valley.

The Valley is big business these days, with billions of dollars in development rising on this side of the hill. NBC moving to Universal City. Expansion of the Media District in Burbank. Millions of dollars invested at Westfield Topanga, Valley Plaza, and the NoHo Artwave. Countless condos popping up everywhere.

The MPAA is relocating to the Sherman Oaks Galleria, and will share 104,634 square feet of office space with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the Directors Guild of America Contract Administration and the Directors Guild Producer Training Plan.

That’s a lot of suits getting on and off the 405/101 interchange, already considered the worst bottleneck in the nation. But, apparently that’s ok, because there is plenty of parking.

No. It’s not ok.

It’s time for city council members who represent the Valley to show us how we’re going to connect all these dots. Buses ain’t gonna cut it, friend. Here is where a Red Line subway extension under Ventura Boulevard starts to make sense. Are you listening, Wendy & Tom?

Metro Olive Line – Phase I: Sherman Oaks – Universal City – Burbank

Think of it as The Showbiz Subway. Think of it as your job.

Photo from pantavila’s photostream

9 thoughts on “The Valley Needs to Wake Up”

  1. I do the drive form the valley to Culver City every day and it gets worse every year. Nobody ever suggests any kind of transit over the Sepulveda pass. A good start would be cut Sepulveda in half, half for busses and half for cars. Then build a monorail/ subway/ train over the pass.

  2. Olive line is an interesting name. Too easily confused with the Green Line, call it the Glitter Line.

    My Gold Line is the dumbest idea on the planet.
    We need one that addresses the Thousand Oaks/WHills/Glendale group, then the East SFV/Glendale/Pasadena in to the SGV Traffic. Of course the whole IE/SBdoo/Pasadena/Glendale east SFV studio corridor. In simpler terms 4 groups from San Bernardino to Thousand Oaks with a mixed surface/subway rail line.

    The other group in need of attention that I have yet to see addressed is the whole Santa Clarita/Century City/Santa Monica pack.

    A couple of common stops to switch between those and we suddenly have a mass transit system hitting a TON of people on their commute.

    Until that happens the 210/134/101 will be jammed solid for many years to come. The Gold line will be under utilized and do little to over come the jam. Your Olive line will be under utilized for the same reasons. Too many still on the edges driving in every day with no mass transit.

    Keep plugging away and someone will hear you. I’ll do the same on my end. I really would like to see some sort of mass transit in place that goes where people want to be.

    Now I have an appt in Hollywood tomorrow at 11…do you think you can get everyone out of my way on the 210/134/5 and Los Feliz Blvd? Please?

  3. The lowest-hanging fruit we have is this:

    Get people to start moving near the Red/Blue/Gold lines (Green line not very likely) so they can walk to a train and take that to work.

    That’s the easiest way we have of getting people off the freeways.

    And if you don’t like that, I’ll be happy to bring up my idea once again of Carpool Only Freeways. I thought that would get your attention.

  4. We can never build rail to replace car traffic, we have to build rail to entice employment to move to where the rail is. The idea to move NBC to Universal City makes sense because the Red Line is there.

    The Gold Line may seem dumb now, but in 25 years it will seem the smartest thing that ever happened to Pasadena. The Red Line is even better. Does anyone really think that downtown and Hollywood would be transforming like they are if rail had not been built?

  5. Since this post mentions and links to the MPAA move, and seems to be initially, at least, motivated by that, did you actually read the story you linked to, that the MPAA has been located for 15 years only two blocks away from the location it is moving to???

    New address – 15301 Ventura Blvd

    Relocates on Jan. 22 from a building at 15503 Ventura Blvd. in nearby Encino, where it has been for 15 years.

  6. I’m with Fraz. When I want to go from Pasadena to the Valley, I have to take the goddamn Gold Line all the way down to Union Station, then take the goddamn Red Line all the way up to the Goddamn Orange Line.

    How in the fucking world is this convenient for me? Yeah, I love my planet and love not driving, but it takes 45 minutes to drive — in traffic — to Van Nuys. To get there on MTA takes over more than twice as long.

    Get with the goddamn program, MTA.

    Also, goddamm.

  7. You know Bert the Gold line is going to help Pasadena, but it’s scope is too narrow for the larger population in the area.

    The problem with the Metro heirarchy is that they are maintaining a downtown LA centric approach and not everyone commutes there or even goes there more than once or twice a year.

    The problem with a carpool only freeway is what happens to all the delivery trucks? The cars not qualifying as a “carpool” wind up taking surface streets. Huge negative impact across the board environmentally with cars in stop and go traffic, and congestion in residential areas.

    Build a rail system that follows exisitng job and population centers. It is unrealistic to expect people to give up their jobs, homes and neighborhoods to be next to a rail or transit station.

  8. Commenter “P”, above, is quite correct. The MPAA/AMPTP’s current offices are only 1/3 of a mile away from the Galleria.

    This will make almost no difference at all in the traffic through the I-405/US-101 interchange.

    Actually, it might be a slight improvement: commuters arriving via the 101 E/B and the 405 N/B and S/B will still use exactly the same exit ramps they use now – but W/B traffic on the 101 won’t be tempted to go all the way through the interchange and then fight their way through merging traffic from the S/B 405 in order to exit at the Haskell offramp – instead, they’ll exit at Sepulveda, before the interchange, which drops them right into the Galleria parking.

    And it also means that those cars, as well cars exiting at several other ramps, won’t have to fight their way down that 1/3 of a mile stretch of Ventura Blvd leading into/out of Encino – which is, itself, a rather serious bottleneck at rush hour.

    Furthermore, it’s an improvement in transit access, because any of the three Rapid Bus lines passing through will drop you right at the Galleria, instead of making you decide between walking that final 1/3 of a mile to the Encino offices, or waiting to transfer to a local.

    1/3 of a mile isn’t an unwalkable distance, but on hot days or rainy days, or for those with disabilities, it’s a nuisance.

    It’s the sort of thing that makes people choose to drive instead of taking transit.

    Front-door drop-off at the Galleria is a definite improvement.

    So it’s an improvement in transit access, a slight improvement to freeway traffic, and a small improvement to surface-street traffic.

    And it doesn’t require any of their current staff – many of whom may live in the area, or live nearby where it’s easy to commute from (like somewhere that doesn’t require getting on the freeway at all) to choose between relocating or spending more time commuting to some more “transit-enabled” location.

    This move just really isn’t deserving of all the melodrama it’s generating around the “Blog-LA-sphere”. It’s a perfectly sensible relocation.

  9. I had to work yesterday, unlike most of the population, and my usual 20 – 45 minute commute from Sherman Oaks (I park at the Galleria) to Atwater Village (101/134/5) took 15 minutes. This is how it should be, but alas, it will only get worse. Every single morning, traffic is so backed up where I’m supposed to exit on Sepulveda and be dumped at the Galleria, that I exit on Van Nuys and take surface streets. Sepulveda is almost always backed up along the stretch before Ventura, and this shall most definitely get worse with our new neighbors. I think the easy solution here is TELE-COMMUTING. Employers need to get over having their employees under their nose, when most of us can easily do our job from home without anyone knowing the difference. Oh yeah, and they won’t have to pay for me to park at the stupid Galleria or deal with my bad attitude cause I despise commuting!

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