As part of its Measure R to-do list, Metro is planning another eastward extension of the Gold Line (though it may be part of the Expo Line once the Regional Connector is built, but that's another story). The alternatives for the line are down to two options, a route that would run along the 60 freeway and another one that would move south and mostly follow Washington Boulevard. Two commentaries appeared in the past week, with politicians making different cases for each route. Congresswoman Judy Chu, whose district lies within the state route 60 option, advocated for the freeway route in the Pasadena Star-News, while Whittier City Council members Owen Newcomer and Joe Vinatieri argued for the Washington Boulevard route, which terminates in Whittier, in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Chu's bullet points for why the Gold Line should follow a northerly route along SR-60:
- The state already owns the right-of-way that runs along the 60, so there would be less purchasing of properties and eminent domain issues.
- Every city along the line--Montebello, Monterey Park, Rosemead and South El Monte, says Chu--wants the project, and even those not connected directly to the proposed route want it, like El Monte and Industry
- The 60 route would serve as a "brain train," connecting colleges like Cal Poly Pomona, East Los Angeles, Rio Hondo and Mt. SAC
- The 60 option is more rife for expansion, and could be connected to the proposed football stadium in Industry, as well as the busy Industry Metrolink station
Newcomer and Vinatieri on why the Gold Line should run along Washington Blvd.:
-The Washington route will serve more people, according to Metro estimates: more than 15,000 a day, compared to about 12,000 with the 60 route
-The southerly route is more connected to where people live, shop, and work than the freeway route, and will allow more walking instead of parking near the 60 route and getting on the train
- The Washington route is longer--it's about nine miles--and provides the "most miles of service at the lowest cost per mile"
- The 60 route would disrupt a toxic landfill site, a nature preserve, and an active earthquake fault and "terminate at a park-and-ride lot in a 100-year flood zone plain"
- Local businesses support the Washington line, as do local politicians in Commerce, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, La Habra Heights, La Habra, La Mirada, and Whittier (though, freeway-adjacent officials support the line near them, naturally)
Stations along the 60 route: Garfield Avenue, The Shoppes at Montebello, Santa Anita Avenue, and Peck Road
Stations along the Washington Boulevard route: Garfield Avenue, Whittier Boulevard, Greenwood Avenue, Rosemead Boulevard, Norwalk Avenue, and Lambert Avenue
Metro won't make its decision on the route around next year, according to the Whittier Daily News.
· 60 Freeway Will Best Serve SGV Valley [Pasadena Star-News]
· Washington Boulevard Serves More Riders [San Gabriel Valley Tribune]
· Whittier Winning More Fans in Eastside Light-Rail Race [Curbed LA]