Attention Silver Lake and Echo Park hipsters: The Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension is set to open Nov. 15. It goes from Little Tokyo, through Boyle Heights, to East Los Angeles. If you don't live along the Gold Line -- if you're not able to take a bus directly north or south to a Gold Line stop (we know, you don't take the bus, you drive Minis, but still ... ) -- you're not on the Eastside.
We'd like to thank the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for creating this unavoidable landmark that creates a transportation spine for the true Eastside. Now hipsters can get a clue and stop calling Silver Lake and Echo Park the Eastside, even as those communities lie west of downtown.
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The 6-mile extension of the Metro system travels under Mariachi Plaza and Boyle Heights for 1.7 miles and spends the rest of its journey above ground as a light-rail like system. The street-level legs of the line (planned years ago) have raised the ire of one Eastside icon, county supervisor Gloria Molina.
She fears that pedestrians along the street sections of the route will be in peril. "I don't know that it's safe," she tells the Los Angeles Times.
Molina was a champion for the extension, so it's strange to hear her criticizing it after it's pretty much done -- long after it was blueprinted and put forth for public debate. (Metro officials boast that it was built in five years with a "flawless" safety record for its workers). Perhaps she's hedging her bets in the event that pedestrians are hurt by trains and her constituents look to her -- a Gold Line Eastside Extension cheerleader -- for answers.
In any case, MTA chief Art Leahy tells the Times his board just this month aproved $4.5 million safety enhancements, including two miles of fence that will keep most pedestrians away from the tracks. This -- and its location miles from Sunset Junction -- will surely prevent any hipsters from being harmed.