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Parking shortage along the Expo Line: Did Metro think this through?

Parking shortage along the Expo Line: Did Metro think this through?
Beneath the anticipation of the Metro Expo Line's arrival on the Westside is a lingering concern: Parking. Four of the seven new Expo Line stations will not have dedicated spaces for transit riders. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: It has taken 60 years for local government to build a light rail line to the Westside of Los Angeles. Is anyone surprised that parking at the various stations was never fully addressed? ("The Expo Line is finally coming to the Westside, but limited parking raises concerns," May 14)

I commute to downtown L.A. from Pacific Palisades five days a week. The morning drive takes 45 minutes; the ride home can take more than an hour. If I want to take the train, the experts suggest I walk, ride a bike or take Uber to the station due to the lack of adequate parking. Even if those options were at all realistic, I might be able to arrive at work by lunchtime.

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This entire project seems to be designed to discourage people from using it at all.

Philip DiGiacomo, Pacific Palisades

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To the editor: The potential parking problems along the new Expo Line route illustrate the bizarre outcomes that can come from people trying to do the right thing.

Metro plans to charge transit users $2 to park and non-transit users $20 at three Westside stations. The message: Taxpayers will provide generous parking subsidies to those taking a longer trip by train. Those who don't take the longer trip and do not inflict the additional costs of train operations and energy use will pay $20.

The second is the non-provision of parking at the Santa Monica stations, which prompted a woman from Pacific Palisades quoted in the story to ask, "Isn't the point to get more people with more money to ride the train?"

Her comment highlights the insurmountable task Metro has in attracting choice riders. To lure these affluent riders to new trains, Metro asks taxpayers to provide even more subsidies to the wealthy.

This makes really terrific public policy: Pay people who have "more money" to ride your (almost) free train.

Norm King, Palm Springs

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To the editor: I take the Expo Line every morning before 5 to Union Station to catch the first Amtrak train to Anaheim.

I have done this for two years, and I enjoy taking public transportation along with my bicycle. More people need to ride their bikes to loose weight and eliminate the need for expensive parking structures.

What needs to be done is to synchronize the traffic lights along the Expo Line so the train does not have to stop at grade crossings. It takes almost as much time to get to Union Station from Crenshaw as it does to get from Union Station to Anaheim.

Nato Flores, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Forget the lack of parking — how about lack of restrooms? A word of caution to those who Rush Miller and her friends who plan a Metro excursion: Forgo that extra cup of tea or coffee at breakfast because the only restroom to be found in the entire Metro rail grid is at Union Station.

Even at the 7th Street rail hub in downtown L.A. — where one can connect to the Expo, Blue, Red and Purple Lines — there's no restroom. This is a major concern to we septuagenarians.

Your best bet is to check out the stations where you'll find a Starbucks within walking distance. But only drink one small cup of coffee.

Diana Spurlin, Venice

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