As I mentioned in a blog a week or so ago, I got a new job in Glendale, which is only a 7-mile, 15 minute drive on the freeway from where I live in North Hollywood. After working in this area for two weeks so far, I really took a liking to the location, which is right in the heart of Downtown Glendale. With my office sitting right next to three shopping malls full of places to eat, I never have to use my car once I park it in the garage to enter my building. That led me to start thinking about one of two downsides the Glendale area has: Dangerous criss-crossing freeway on-and-off ramps, but just as important, is the lack of mass transit.
Think about it: Pasadena, which is the next major town to the east of Glendale, has the Metro Gold Line, which currently runs from Sierra Madre to Downtown Los Angeles and East LA. Imagine if Metro created a spur line from the Gold Line's Memorial Park station, and brought it through Glendale (with an underground station downtown near the Glendale Galleria Mall) and further stations at the Burbank Promenade, Burbank Media Center, before ending at the North Hollywood Red Line Station. That would eliminate the need to extend the Orange Line busway eastward (which would be a very problematic process due to the lack of dedicated right-of-way options), and still connect both the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys (once the Gold Line extension to Azusa is completed). Such a line would work best being partially underground through North Hollywood and Downtown Glendale, and grade-separated the rest of the way. Having this existing rail line through Glendale won't just help me leave my car at home when going to work, but also allow other LA residents to discover a town that I feel gets overlooked sometimes in favor of Pasadena. Don't get me wrong, I love Pasadena, but Glendale has what I think is the best downtown area in Southern California: Lots of small shops and eateries close together, reasonably priced parking, and a shopping complex with just about anything you need in it. In fact, the building that I work in has three restaurants on its lower floors (California Pizza Kitchen, BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse, and Olive Garden). The three shopping areas that cover at least three square blocks (The Americana, Glendale Marketplace, and The Glendale Galleria) have everything from Outback Steakhouse, The Cheesecake Factory, Red Robin Burgers, Granville Cafe, and Blaze Pizza. And just to make it even more attractive, there's a Target located inside the Galleria Mall, which I will be frequenting after work once I get a few more paychecks saved up. Having an underground Gold Line light rail station within steps of all this commercial activity would make Downtown Glendale twice as fantastic as it already is.
So get on this Metro. After you finish the eastside Gold Line extension to Azusa, and the expo line extension to Santa Monica next spring, make this "Glendale to North Hollywood" Gold Line spur a reality. I'll be the first in line, walking to a newly linked Red Line/Orange Line/Gold Line station in North Hollywood, as I breeze past and underneath the traffic on the 134 Freeway, and arriving at work by exiting an underground station to experience the awesomeness that is Downtown Glendale. That is all.
Tune in to next week's blog, as I'll be giving a wrap-up on what what will be a busy weekend for me: Dark Nights Music and Food Festival in Downtown LA friday night, Emerald Knights Comics Artist Alley exhibitor appearance in Burbank on Saturday from 12-5 pm, and a vendor appearance at San Fernando Valley Comic Con in Granada Hills from 10 am to 4 pm. expect that column to be written next sunday evening, shortly after I get back from the SFV show. Until then!