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Cities battle over Gold Line extension

January 18, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Cities in eastern Los Angeles County are campaigning for the Gold Line to be extended from East Los Angeles, even though construction may be 30 years away, it was reported today. The C-shaped route already arcs from downtown Los Angeles north to Pasadena, and then east to Sierra Madre. Plans are already underway to extend it along an unused railroad alignment all the way to Ontario International Airport.

A southern arc is under construction from Union Station south and east into East Los Angeles. It is that future southern leg of the Gold Line that is a matter of contention among cities like Whittier and South El Monte, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported today.

Monterey Park's city council wants the light rail line extended along the Pomona (60) Freeway, and will vote on endorsing that proposed alignment Tuesday. But transportation planners say that route has the most environmental problems and lowest projected ridership.

Whittier wants the Gold Line extended southeast along Beverly or Washington boulevards all the way through Whittier and into northern Orange County. That corridor is not served by any east-west freeway system.

Transportation planners note that both legs of the rail proposals could be built if funding existed.

Although that line is also called the Gold Line, government planners are examining a plan to link the Gold Line across the Los Angeles Civic Center and plug it in to the Blue Line rail tunnel at Seventh and Figueroa streets.

That would connect both arcs of the Gold Line to the Blue Line serving Long Beach, and the new Expo Line under construction to Culver City and eventually Santa Monica.


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