Designing a Multi-Modal, User-Focused TOD Vision for Los Angeles' Expo Line

Facing explosive development interest around its Metro station, the small city of Culver on L.A.’s Westside is taking steps to shape its mobility future.

2 minute read

July 4, 2017, 9:00 AM PDT

By Elana Eden

Expo Line

Eric Garcetti / Flickr

Over the next four years, the five-square-mile city of Culver is expecting ten new developments focused around its Metro Expo Line station to bring 30,000 new daily trips to its streets. In anticipation of those impacts, the Los Angeles-area city has elected to craft, not just a congestion management plan, but a comprehensive vision for mobility and growth that will eventually fold into a general plan update. In The Planning Report, Culver City Vice Mayor Thomas Small and consultant Craig Nelson unpack the Transit Oriented Development Visioning Plan.

Small explains:

Our solution in Culver City is not to try to stop development, but to work with it, and to create a multimodal mobility system that will enable all these people to get around. We need a mobility system that will work with development.

Culver is just one small piece of a patchwork of more than 30 transit networks in Los Angeles County. To create a "complete journey" for riders, the plan will have to find a way to make the transition between infrastructure systems feel seamless.

Creating an easy, comfortable experience is a core component of the plan, which relies heavily on detailed community outreach. That's important in part because transit ridership is falling throughout L.A. County as well as nationwide. Nelson explains:

I’m striving to help transit agencies in the US think beyond a new app, a new website, or new sensors across the network. You need to speak to your users. You need to understand why they don’t use the bus—why it’s uncomfortable for them to use the bus—and think about how good design, good strategy, and good policy can be used to deliver a more accessible and better-to-use transit network.

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