A recent Daily Press article found that the Expo Light Rail Line hasn’t brought any significant changes to traffic or crime to Culver City, which had its portion of the line come into town a year and a half ago.
So, this week’s Q-Line question asks:
Do you think Expo is going to bring negative impacts to Santa Monica or is it the fix to local traffic problems that many are promising?
Here are your responses:
“Of course bringing in the Expo Line is going to fix local traffic problems because it is going to help ameliorate the disgusting gridlock we have with our cars.”
“I think that the Expo Rail Line will actually bring a lot of negative changes to the city because of all the construction going on. It’s going to make everything much more crowded, we’re going to have more people working, more people living here. No matter what they say, it’s going to bring a lot more traffic, more pollution and more crime. People who don’t have cars will come to Santa Monica by train, which will create more crime. The other main concern is that all this construction that’s going up, where is the water going to come from? All Santa Monica is doing is building, building, building. … We’re going to have all these people crossing the streets and they are going to get hit by trains.”
“Not only do I think that the Expo is going to bring negative impacts to Santa Monica, it already has. Getting around the city now is practically impossible with all the concrete barriers. I can only imagine what it’s going to be like when the train is going down Colorado. That should be entertaining. All the surface streets will be backed up with the arm coming down when the train is going by, they’ll be backed up on every street during rush hour. Unfortunately it will be breaking news with people walking across the tracks getting killed and people trying to drive past the arm when it comes down. It’s going to be horrendous.”
“The Expo Line will bring nothing but negative impacts. The gridlock nightmare we already have will be multiplied exponentially by the Expo Line holding up commuters at street-level crossings. This will cause more pollution and precious wasted time for everyone. The danger a street-level train brings cannot be understated. Face it, with 95 percent of bicyclists ignoring stop signs and red lights, and an ever increasing number of pedestrians ignoring ‘Don’t Walk’ signs, how long will it be before lives are lost and how many will die. Crime will ride those rails. Just look at how many criminals are caught and they originate from far reaching areas of Southern California. The Expo can only make it easier for dangerous law breakers to come to Santa Monica and do their dirty deeds.”
“With Expo coming the possibility is endless as to how many transients will be planting themselves in Santa Monica. More housing, more programs and more police will be needed. The city is on its way to becoming one big parking lot. Local traffic problems wont go away and neither will local city officials who created them. Get wise Santa Monicans. Get these clowns out of office.”
“I am worried. I’ve taken the Expo line from Culver City. If you arrive at the station just after a train has arrived, the parking lot is inundated with early teens on skateboards. They are a huge nuisance and run in large packs. I dread the day they disembark in our city. I hope turnstiles stop this horde; I doubt they were paying the fare.”
“The Expo Line will bring Santa Monica a flood of homeless people seeking to access the regional social service programs the Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR)-controlled City Council sponsors and funds. … The homeless on the streets of our city are not here because they were evicted from a Santa Monica apartment or lost a Santa Monica home to foreclosure. They are here because the SMRR-funded social service programs for the homeless are a regional magnet. The crime blotter published in this newspaper and the daily police log establishes a large percentage of the crimes are committed by the homeless. Culver City does not fund the level of homeless social service programs we do, so the homeless did not flock to Culver City.”
“I don’t think enough people will use the Expo Line to make much of a dent in traffic. There are two problems. First, park and ride would have made it convenient and attracted riders. If the line had gone to the beach the vast underused parking lots there could have provided an ideal park-and-ride situation. Ten years ago I asked Pam O’Connor, now chair of the Expo Line board, about this and I was told the extra four blocks were too expensive. As it is, there is virtually no adjacent parking to the light rail in Santa Monica. People who normally drive will be asked to take a bus to the train. I don’t think they’ll do it. The second problem is that the Expo Line goes right down Colorado. It will be part of traffic, adding to it, taking up traffic lanes, stopping at lights. It should have followed the other proposed route, elevated along Olympic and out of the way. I’m glad it’s coming, but I don’t think it will fix any traffic problems in the short run.”
“The Expo construction has already caused problems in Santa Monica, and it will only become worse when the Expo is up and running. Traffic through the city is already at a standstill most of the time, and it will become even worse when Expo arrives. MTA has told us that a train will run every four to six minutes, which means that north and south traffic will come to a stop every four to six minutes to allow the train to pass. It will be a nightmare.”