This past week, Q-line asked:

The Expo Light Rail Line is coming to Santa Monica, but which route it takes is still a subject of debate. The pair of routes being kicked around would either have the line make its way down Colorado Avenue to the terminus or travel along Olympic Boulevard. Which route do you think the rail line should take and why?

Here are your responses:

“Olympic Boulevard is a much better choice. A boulevard is bigger than an avenue by definition. Colorado Avenue is in a more residential area, so leave those people alone. Crossroads School has crossing guards. Those who are worried about the trees can review what Santa Monica has recently done which is move trees and if that doesn’t work I’m sure the Expo Line can move around them.”

“Olympic Boulevard, of course. Another no brainer. However my preference would be to forget about the whole thing. We have enough low lifes flooding into this city every day as it is. They flood in and stay. That’s the big problem.”

“The only possibility is down Olympic because that’s the way the train ran years ago. You can still see pieces of track. It doesn’t make sense to go down any other road and Olympic is more commercial than residential. As far as the schools are concerned, you know what, these kids are not knuckleheads, they’re not going to be running across the street against the lights or anything like that, so that’s something nobody needs to worry about. When it gets Downtown to Santa Monica, then we can elevate it. But Olympic’s the way.”

“It doesn’t matter where they build it because no matter where they build it someone will complain. If they don’t build it, other people will complain. So it doesn’t really matter anymore.”

“It should start at Santa Monica City Hall and go one way to New York City with our City Council on board.”

“It seems like Bill Bauer’s article in Monday’s paper [”Expo Line veers off track,” page 4, Feb. 23, 2009] has done more investigation and background and research than our City Council did and I agree with his article that it should be elevated and on Olympic Boulevard and that Colorado should not be used.”

“I totally agree with Bill Bauer’s editorial [”Expo Line veers off track,” page 4, Feb. 23, 2009]. The route should go down Olympic or at least be aerial. The idea of having an at-grade train on Colorado crossing 11th Street, Lincoln, Fourth Street and all the streets in between, it totally goes against the whole purpose of light rail which is to get a faster and more convenient service than riding the bus or being stuck in traffic in a car. You want to be separate from the traffic and it will cut pollution from cars that are idling and not going anywhere. Going down Olympic, even if it’s not elevated, what’s the problem with it going past all those buildings? They’re all light industrial.”

“It seems only logical to restart the rail on the old Olympic route. I’m moving to the Plaza on Colorado. It would save untold billions, and they could move Crossroads. But whether or not it stays, the average rate of traffic would make no difference — as far as child safety is concerned — for if the train runs on Olympic or not. The trees are probably not on the endangered list, and it seems like someone will make a fuss over anything in protest.”

“Regardless of which is chosen, a light rail system is on its way to Santa Monica. I am aware that its main purpose is to bring workers into Santa Monica. I have no problem with that. Still, it appears to me that the bus companies are already doing a good job bringing workers to Santa Monica and have been for years.”

“The Colorado Avenue alternative would be much better than Olympic Boulevard because we would save 44 beautiful coral trees and virtually the entire Olympic Boulevard grassy median. The Colorado Avenue alternative would be much more pedestrian friendly, community friendly and tree friendly.”

“Save the trees, save the trees, save the trees. Colorado Avenue, not Olympic.”

“I think the Expo Line should go down Colorado Avenue rather than Olympic. It would save the coral trees and would also be closer to the business community and shops and go right toward the Pier.”

“Neither route sounds good. Colorado has too many residential units along the street. Olympic has coral trees. Why not Pico Boulevard with all the businesses, plus Santa Monica College? That would lend a lot more convenience. So I vote for Pico Boulevard.”

“If we must, Olympic is better. The long trains on the narrower Colorado, if not elevated, is even less safe, cause more left turns and cross traffic delays and make the neighborhoods more ugly, too. If we can take a breath here and think about this until the now-overdue next city general plan gets finished and voted on by residents, we can get to talking about a saner Santa Monica trolley car loop which could connect with the Expo Line which could end in a nice terminal station near the east end of Santa Monica. Doing that would leave our already over-busy streets unharmed and remaining city aesthetics undamaged, too. And by the way, the Expo study projection of new traffic growth to 2030 is estimated to be only a percentage point different whether or not the Expo Line is running.”

“Bill Bauer’s column [”Expo Line veers off track,” page 4, Feb. 23, 2009] should be required reading for all City Council members. Just look at the statistics. Metro Green Line had a 100 percent elevated right away and has had no deaths or accidents. On the other hand, the Blue Line, on ground level tracks, has had 28 deaths and 172 accidents in the last five years. The City Council must put the safety of the citizens of Santa Monica first. If they do that, the only responsible choice for the Expo Light Rail Line is elevated tracks along Olympic Boulevard from Cloverfield to the Fourth Street station. Another big advantage would be that the elevated track would not affect traffic on the surrounding service streets.”

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