With no firm opening date for the Expo Line extension, many traffic- and transit-watchers eagerly await the opening of the latest extension of the Gold Line light rail—scheduled for March 5. The Foothill extension will bring six new stations to the San Gabriel Valley, easing commutes on the 210 and travel into Pasadena and DTLA.
Building the pretty line has been mostly seamless, but opening it has been anything but. Current construction on the Regional Connector subway in DTLA will mean Foothill trains will initially only travel to Union Station, not all the way into East L.A.—construction on the subway has meant temporary closure of the current Little Tokyo/Arts District station, which will hopefully reopen by the spring or summer.
The latest hiccup though is at the Foothill extension’s eastern terminus in Azusa, near Azusa Pacific University, Citrus College, and the Rosedale residential community. The city of Azusa requested the APU station not open for another four months, since it hasn’t finished work on a parking garage nor an extension of Citrus Avenue. Azusa believes having the station without those amenities will encourage cut-through traffic, as well as pedestrians dangerously running across busy streets. The kicker is that work on the extension of Citrus Avenue—which will enable walkers, cyclists, and drivers to easily access the station—was delayed because Azusa, Glendora, and the Rosedale homes developer could not agree on the road’s alignment.
Today, Metro announced it is politely declining Azusa’s request and opening all six stations in less than two months. To be a team player, they—along with the train’s construction authority—will utilize safety ambassadors near the station, as well as provide a bus shuttle to APU and Citrus College. On top of that, the agency will hire a traffic engineering firm to look into other mitigation measures until Citrus Avenue is completed.
OK, so now is everyone mostly happy? Let’s hope that’s the last derailment before March 5.