Big plan for rail line through WeHo chugs closer to reality

Given prior Metro line extensions, the light rail would likely boost resi and commercial real estate values

Sunset Tower, 8358 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood (Credit: Edi Maps, Wikimedia Commons)
Sunset Tower, 8358 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood (Credit: Edi Maps, Wikimedia Commons)

The dream that Angelenos will one day commute by light rail to West Hollywood — bypassing some of the city’s worst traffic — chugged closer to reality this week.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board of directors voted to spend $400,000 to further study extending the line into West Hollywood, WEHOville reported.

Given the history of past Metro line extensions, a light rail to West Hollywood would likely have a positive impact on residential and commercial real estate values in the enclave. The area is already among the city’s most popular spots for entertainment-industry people to live.

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Previous plans to extend rail lines have coincided with city initiatives to rezone areas around rail stations to allow for taller buildings on major streets.
The light rail plan would involve building an extension of Metro’s Crenshaw/LAX line, which is already under construction. Metro is considering five routes for the project, all of which would link that line to the Red and Purple lines.

Finishing the study is crucial to making the project shovel ready by 2020, which would allow Metro to complete it by 2047. That’s a long way off. But the plan has growing support on the Los Angeles City Council and among members of the West Hollywood City Council, who have pushed to speed up the rail line’s timeline, Curbed reported.

Metro has allocated $2.24 billion for the Crenshaw extension, which will be funded by a sales-tax increase authorized by the passage of Measure M in 2016. Speeding up the timetable will require completing an environmental assessment of the project and finding more money.

Metro has received proposals for public-private partnerships for other planned transit lines. John Duran, the mayor of West Hollywood, has proposed taxing the city’s booming cannabis industry as a possible source of funding, he told KPCC radio in July. [WEHOville] — Alexei Barrionuevo

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