Jun 16, 2010

Foothill Retail Corridor – Local Focus: Gold Line Extension

The extension of the Gold Line from Pasadena to Azusa is set to have its official ground breaking on Saturday, June 26 at 10:00 AM at Newcastle Park (101 West Colorado Boulevard, just west of Santa Anita) in Arcadia.

A lot has been happening on this project, even though you don’t see anything right now. In October, Metro adopted their Long Range Transportation Plan which included funding for Phase 2A of the Gold Line extension. Phase I was from downtown L.A. to Pasadena; Phase 2A is from Pasadena to Azusa; Phase 2B is from Azusa to the transit center in Upland; and eventually Phase 3 will run from the transit center to Ontario Airport.

In March the Metro board approved the Funding Transfer and Master Cooperative Agreements. This essentially assured over $800 million toward the project between 2010 and 2019.

Here is a project that has gained my attention for a few reasons. I’ve always loved trains, and it is quite enjoyable to take the Gold Line to the beautiful and historic Union Station in downtown L.A. (From there it is a short walk to Phillipe’s, home of the original French dip sandwich!). But this project has a bit of sentimentality to it. The Gold Line runs along the old Santa Fe right of way. I remember when the Super Chief would pull into the Pasadena station. The Santa Fe rail line was completed in 1887 line and ran from Los Angeles to San Bernardino. Much of the development along the Foothills can be traced to the development of rail stations along the way. The pictures above are of the San Dimas and Monrovia stations today. Hopefully the Monrovia station will be lovingly restored like the San Dimas station. I’m so glad that Pasadena preserved their old station.

Look for transit oriented development to occur near each of the Gold Line stations. Phase 2A will have stops in Arcadia, Monrovia, two in Irwindale, and two in Azusa.