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Let's Talk About How LA's New Rail Line Ignores LAX

January 24, 2014 at 9:40 AM | by | Comment (1)

Brian Sumers - the Los Angeles reporter who covers all things airports - promised us that we would "enjoy" the video below, which he took this week at a ceremony celebrating the groundbreaking of a new light rail line set to go from L.A.'s Mid-City to the general vicinity of LAX. He very specifically wrote "trust me" and then he followed up with "you'll enjoy it."

Brian Sumers fucking lied to us.

Let's discuss, shall we?

There is a part of Los Angeles called Mid-City, where they have lots of traffic and a disproportionately high murder rate and probably some other stuff, but who cares that's not the point of this post. Some time ago L.A. Metro decided that it would build a rail line that started in Mid-City and stopped two miles away from LAX. You can view a map of where the line will start and stop here. Workers started digging for it on Tuesday.

Why they choose to stop before they got to LAX is clouded in local politics, but the point is they're going to spend $2 billion over five years to construct an 8.5 mile line that very much does not go to L.A.'s main airport. How obnoxious is that?

The only thing more idiotic than the idea of building the line, in fact, is the idea of not building the line because the construction noise will overwhelm precious little self esteem-soaked Montessori school-attending children. Which is something protesting parents are actually saying, with words that are coming out of their skulls.

A non-exhaustive list of things we hate about this lunacy: the idea itself, nearly all of the people who support it, and at least a solid majority of people who oppose it.

And so when we look at this video of a supremely annoying dance troupe praising the project, at a ceremony attended by grinning bureaucrats who should have been off somewhere trying to un-fuck this thing, at an event that was likely financed with the money of taxpayers who still won't be able to take light rail to LAX, all we feel is rage.

[Photo: Brian Sumers / Tout]

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Crenshaw Will Get to LAX

First, if you believe that swearing, calling people liars, or making fun of a community dance group improves your credibility, you're mistaken.

Second, if the Crenshaw line takes you to such a scary area of LA, why do you care that it doesn't connect to LAX? After all, it sounds like you're scared to go there. (Hint: It's not scary. And, although you used the word, I think you're missing the point of the Crenshaw line. It's there because of traffic; not because people need to get to LAX.)

Finally, you're either uninformed or purposely withholding information to make your rant relevant. Metro is currently working with LAWA (Los Angeles World Airports) to finalize the method that will connect the Crenshaw line with LAX. The option of having a underground station directly at the airport has been nixed. (Doing that would cost over $3 billion and still have the potential to damage existing infrastructure because the soil under LAX is not ideal.) The remaining options all involve an automated "people mover" that would connect the Crenshaw station with all nine LAX terminals. Due to the design of the airport, any rail station would need to have a secondary transportation system to get people to each of those terminals. Therefore, placing the rail station further from the airport terminals isn't going to matter...it never was going to be a one-seat ride.

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