Metro’s Runaway Gold Line

Rendering of Possible Alameda Gold Line Station,

in Beautiful Downtown… Azusa???

Metro had another meeting today. They decided to move forward with Westward extensions of the Red & Purple Lines to somewhere, a Downtown Connector, further extension of the Gold Line from East L.A., and the Orange Line train bus to Chatsworth. Super. Start building the damned things already.

Just one question… Why is L.A. still ignoring one of the fastest-growing traffic nightmares in the city?

101-134-210. It’s not code. It’s three major freeways that bridge the gap between the two Valleys. Van Nuys. Sherman Oaks. Studio City. Universal City. Burbank. Glendale. Pasadena. Major job centers. Thousands of motorists playing a daily game of car jockey at 15mph.

Why isn’t the city addressing this region with any sort of urgency? Why aren’t there at least discussions on the table about a Metro Rail link between the San Fernando Valley and the San Gabriel?

I went back to Metro’s Long Range Transportation Plan to see if I missed something when it first came out.

Tier 2: Candidates for Further Project Definition
SR-134 Transit Corridor BRT between Metro Red Line North Hollywood Station and Metro Gold Line Del Mar Station

BRT stands for Bus Rapid Transit. This means they want you to take a bus. A bus from the Red Line subway in NoHo to the above-ground Gold Line in Pasadena. A bus that will sit in the exact same traffic that you’re already in, staring at the exact same tail lights. A bus that is, at best, only being “considered” as a “candidate for further project definition.”


Anyone that commutes along the 101-134-210 corridor will tell you what a disaster it is. Especially, when you get to Glendale. Friggin’ Glendale. And it isn’t going to get any better.

What makes the suggestion for BRT even more ridiculous is the fact that a few are still pushing for a Gold Line extension… to Azusa, and beyond. Projected ridership for that extension? A whopping 9,500 passengers a day.

Maybe before we go extending the Gold Line all the way across state borders, we should establish a more vital East-West component of the Metro Rail Network. One that is closer to where more people actually live and work. Extend the Gold Line – or Red Line – from Pasadena to Universal City. Then, under or over, Ventura Boulevard to Sherman Oaks, where it will connect with an eventual North-South rail line along the 405 corridor.

Maybe I’m out of line here. Again. Maybe more people want to visit Duarte and La Verne by way of rail. Maybe nobody really lives or works in little towns like Van Nuys or Studio City. Maybe it would be a whole lot more fun to someday take Metro to Rancho Cucamonga and go shopping at the mall.

Or, maybe the Valley needs to help put a leash on old Yeller before it leaves the yard for good.

10 thoughts on “Metro’s Runaway Gold Line”

  1. Fucking politicians. Sheesh. This whole thing is enough to piss the pope off.

    You are absolutely correct that one of the biggest traffic nightmares in need of serious mass transit and rail answers is the 101-134-210 from Ventura to San Bernardino…but nooooooo.

    Instead you get pinheads like monrovia mayor and others spending tons of our hard earned tax dollars to set up a pac. Yes, a pac. “The Gold Line Contstruction Authority” is nothing more than 12 little cities screwing up transit for the whole region by constantly lobbying for their precious little gold line in hopes the transit villages that our tax dollars are subsidizing developers (ie taking out the risk on failed projects) around stations for a line that may not even get here until 2030.

    In the mean time we are looking at no relief for the region. Worse…tax dollars diverted out of the general fund into redevelopment money hurting our city ability to provide fire, police and schools.

    Sorry for my rant, but I am as passionate about functioning mass transit for the region.

  2. I use the Gold Line daily. More than once, I have had a fellow passenger at the Villa Station in East Pasadena, ask me how to get to Burbank, Pacoima, or Van Nuys. And every time I have to offer them my pity, and try to list the necessary metro lines to do due west. (Take the Gold Line South, to the Red Line North to Orange Line or the 724, or the 780 to the 794 etc., etc…)

    There is definitely a transit gap between the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys.

    However, I must argue that the Foothill Extension to the east is the most important route, simply because it will put us within walking distance of . Imagine… A world where you can take the train from King Taco in EastLos to Donut Man in Glendora!

  3. This idea would be awesome. It’d have to be some sort of busway/railway that is built into the freeway like the Gold Line does along the 210 or the bus lanes on the 110, however. The 134 is conveniently really high up above any actual homes here in Eagle Rock, so it’s not even noticeable, and it’s all nature preserve and mountains to the north of the freeway. And that seems a lot more feasible than trying to run anything down Colorado Blvd. I would totally do the extra walk towards a rail station at the 2/134 intersection to get myself to Burbank without any transfers, though.

  4. I commute from Sylmar to Arcadia everyday. I have looked up how to take public transportation to save mileage on my car and some gas money. Estimated time of arrival…… 3 hours later. :(

  5. Hey.. watchit!!! BRT is not “just” a bus. There are multiple grades of BRT. But technically BRT is grade separated like the Orange line. Faster buses with fewer stops are rapid bus. So if they are proposing a grade separted system, like an extension of the Orange line from NoHo to Pasadena, well that makes as much sense as light rail.

  6. Marcotico – A bus is a bus is a bus. Even grade separated BRT’s like the Orange Line have to stop at red lights, which kinda defeats the purpose. With rail, you also have the capability of reducing transfers.

  7. I have to agree. Buses are street traffic dependent for moving masses quickly. Rail is limited only by the number of stops on a route. Buses are best used as feeders in and out of the main rail stations.

    The problem with the Gold Line as it exists at this moment is that it goes no where to benefit me or most of my neighbors. I don’t have a commute. My wife commutes to Pomona and would use if there was rail that could do it, but the planned route does her no good. Of my neighbors only 2 actually have to be in Downtown LA. The remaining are either going to jobs in the Valley (studios or areospace around Burbank), heading into NOC or into the IE none of which is served by the existing lines, or proposed lines where it makes sense to use over freeway.

  8. I live in Monrovia and work in Pasadena. If I could pedal my bike to the Metro Station and ride from there to the Holly St station and walk to work, I would. However, it may be that won’t happen until 2038 at the earliest for that to be started. Metro has said any eastward construction would not start until after the west side construction was completed. LA City gets all of the funding first. That info came directly from Metro to me.

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