Expo Authority’s ‘Last Mile’ Problem

EXPO Line logoThe Expo Authority, the multi-jurisdictional agency formed to develop the Expo Line from Downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica [map], has decided to excise a proposed bicycle facility at the station at Venice & Robertson. Somehow, following on the heels of the brand-spanking-new Santa Monica Bikestation’s successful debut, the Authority decided that costs must be cut. No surprise here: they cut the potentially most cost-effective part of the Expo program.

Expo Line Station RenderingThe Expo Line’s Culver City station is the perfect opportunity to jump-start bike-to-transit in this part of town. Let’s pressure the Expo Line Authority to return the bike facility as designed to the Culver City Station. It’s the answer to the proverbial ‘last mile’ problem: How to get from home or work to a transit station.

Culver City has already made tentative first steps, including constructing built a bikeway along Jefferson connecting La Cienega to the Ballona Creek and other bike improvements that connect the new station to the surrounding area. So there’s reason to envision this infrastructure-neglected part of the region as a bike mecca. My money’s on it. In fact, we’re still hoping that lanes will come to Washington Boulevard.

Our best hope for a people-powered transit future for the Culver City area lies with Metro’s Expo line. So let’s help them solve this particular ‘last mile’ problem by encouraging a station-based bike facility.

How can you help? You can drop an email to the Expo Authority Board (all elected representatives) to give them a piece of your mind. You can email Culver City’s Mayor O’Leary. Give Supervisor Ridley Thomas a piece of your mind too! And don’t forget Metro Board Chair Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Let’s let them know how we feel in time for the Authority’s 2:30 pm meeting [agenda] tomorrow. Find a sample letter if you’re so motivated!

Here’s our letter. Thanks to calls for action from the Culver City Bicycle Coalition and Santa Monica Spoke, we’re highlighting the issue. And thanks to Kent Strumpel for keeping the LACBC planning committee on top of the issue too.

A parting thought: Why is it that the lowest-hanging, most delicious fruit like bike lanes, racks, and other discount-cost facilities is often left off the transportation banquet table? We’re talking a near billion dollar project here. And the bike facility gets cut?