WeHo to Consider Stepping Up Efforts to Lure a Metro Line Stop

Metro LineThe City Council will consider a proposal Monday to step up the city’s efforts to bring subway service to West Hollywood.

The proposal by Councilmembers John Heilman and Jeffrey Prang calls for the city to engage a lobbyist to promote the need for Metrorail services in West Hollywood.

The proposal notes that WeHo lobbied heavily for including a West Hollywood spur as part of the Metrorail west side extension. In an analysis of options for that extension, “one of the best performing alternatives was one that connected the Hollywood and Highland Metro station to the Westside extension on Wilshire by going through West Hollywood and connecting to the Wilshire line either via La Cienega or San Vicente. ”

Metro decided it couldn’t afford to include that option in its west side extension plans. But, the Heilman / Prang proposal notes “former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa assured West Hollywood representatives that West Hollywood would be ‘next in line’.”

The proposal recommends a lobbying effort that would engage local residents and businesses as well as labor unions, community groups and neighborhood councils to press Metro board members to include West Hollywood in Metro’s subway development.

The Council will consider the Heilman / Prang proposal at the same meeting at which it conducts a “mobility workshop” with the city’s Transportation Commission.”

Under discussion at the workshop will be elements of the city’s 2035 General Plan, a long range plan for urban development. That plan notes that one of the city’s primary goals has been creating a pedestrian community in West Hollywood. But it also notes the difficulty of doing that in a compact city located in the middle of a major urban area.

“Due to the City’s regional context, it is anticipated that auto congestion may continue to increase because of growth in other places in the Los Angeles region, even if no new growth occurs within West Hollywood,” the mobility section of the general plan states. “This is partly because new housing development many miles from the City will continue to attract more individuals interested in spending time or seeking employment in West Hollywood, or who simply pass through the City to reach other destinations.”

That mobility section notes that within the city’s 1.9 square miles there are there 45 miles of roadway, 87 miles of sidewalks and 5.4 miles of bicycle lanes.

The mobility workshop follows a Council decision in February to reject a proposal by Mayor John D’Amico and Councilmember John Duran to place traffic officers at intersections along Santa Monica Boulevard to test whether that would reduce traffic congestion.

The other council members rejected that proposal, citing its expense and concerns about whether it would provide the data really needed to improve traffic flow during rush hours. The Council asked Heilman and Prang to work with the city’s Community Development Department on other ideas.

The Council’s mobility workshop will take place at 6 p.m. at the City Council Chambers at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. south of Santa Monica. The regular Council meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m.

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