Santa Monica isn't the only city gearing up to study how new pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use development along the Expo Light Rail corridor will impact traffic and surrounding neighborhoods.
Metro and the city of Los Angeles are about ready to start an environmental impact report on their plans to rezone areas within a 15 minute walk of the five Expo stations from Culver City to Santa Monica. The stations are in Culver City, which is already open, and at National and Palms, Exposition and Westwood, Exposition and Sepulveda and Exposition and Bundy.
SEE ALSO: Light Rail Opens in Culver City—On to Santa Monica
The goal, according to city planners, is to encourage people to actually take the train by allowing "some increased development intensity near stations" and "improving the configuration and condition of streets to better promote pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular circulation." Other changes will likely include adding public green space and affordable housing.
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The plan does not include the three stations under construction in Santa Monica, which is already moving forward on re-zoning a large swath of land near the future Expo stop at the Bergamot Station Arts Center.
Work to extend Expo Light Rail from the line's current terminus in Culver City to downtown Santa Monica is chugging along and remains on track for a 2015 completion date. Pending successful inspections and testing, the train will open to riders in 2016. About 64,000 riders are estimated to take the train from its starting point in downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica by 2030.
A public meeting to kick off the environmental review of the five stations between Culver City and Santa Monica is at 6 p.m. April 10 in at the IMAN Cultural Center in Palms. Feedback will be taken following a presentation on the project at 6:15 p.m.
The cultural center is at 3376 Motor Ave.
Can't make the meeting but have something to say? Send comments to Lameese Elqura by April 15. They can also be mailed to Elqura at the Department of City Planning, 200 N. Spring St., Room 667, Los Angeles, CA 90012.