Council Backs Proposal for Van Nuys Rail Stop
The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday unanimously voted to endorse a proposal to include Van Nuys as a full station stop on the commuter rail line scheduled to begin serving the San Fernando Valley in 1993.
The Los Angeles County Transportation Commission currently is planning only two Valley stops--in Chatsworth and Burbank--on its west line running from Moorpark in Ventura County to downtown Los Angeles.
But Councilman Joel Wachs, who urged the council to ask the commission for a Van Nuys station, said the two proposed stops would not meet the needs of people living and working in the Valley.
“The optimal distance between stations is five miles,” said Wachs, who represents a portion of Van Nuys. “Yet the distance between Chatsworth and Burbank is closer to 10 miles. Since there already is an Amtrak station on Van Nuys Boulevard, it makes perfect economic and transportation sense to use it as a commuter rail stop as well.”
The Amtrak station at 7724 Van Nuys Blvd. already has a platform, and Caltrans recently added a left turn lane to provide access to the station for southbound motorists. Wachs said that Caltrans has agreed to spend $500,000 for additional improvements.
The Van Nuys site also is attractive because it is adjacent to the General Motors assembly plant, which is scheduled to close, Wachs said. A commuter rail station there would help attract new enterprises to the General Motors site, he said.