Long Beach Wardlow Station Receives Worst Grade in LA County from Statewide Transportation Study

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A study released Monday by the nonprofit Next 10 and prepared by the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment at the UC Berkeley School of Law gave the Los Angeles County Metro’s Wardlow Station an F, the worst grade for a station within the LA County Metro transit system.

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The entire LA Metro system received a C average.

Mayor Robert Garcia briefly discussed the state of Long Beach's Blue Line Stations on his Facebook page today, a day after the study was released. Though he did not specifically mention the report, he asserted an overall commitment to improving the stations.

“Over the last year we have been aggressively working with MTA to improve the Blue Line stations and security,” said Garcia posted. “While I appreciate the investments that have been recently made including the new lighting and platform updates, it is not nearly enough. We need the MTA and LA County to get serious about Blue Line security and safety.”

The report measured the stations of six transit systems in California, which serve 60 percent of the state population. Performance was based on 11 key indicators of a “thriving station neighborhood” (including access, walkability, and proximity to nearby attractions) in addition to available data, with the study grading each station on a statewide curve that ranged from A+ to F.

Garcia said he’d be meeting with the new MTA CEO next week regarding Blue Line safety, and that he is “hopeful” Long Beach receives the attention it deserves.

Specifically, the Wardlow Station scored low across all measures used in the study, excluding safety, as only two criminal incidents occurred during December 2014, which the study attributed to a lack of station activity in general.

The low number of pedestrians using the system, the presence of roads that make the station “auto-dominated” and not pedestrian-friendly, low evidence of walkability and low amount of jobs and households per acre resulted in the station scoring lower than any other in the region.

In contrast, the station that received the highest grade in the study was Los Angeles’ Westlake/MacArthur Park station, which scored high across all indicators and stood apart from all others because of its “diversity of destinations, walkability, transit access and affordability,” according to the report. The station received an A+ grade.

The transit system that scored the highest in California was the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which received a B. The San Diego Municipal Transit System and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority tied for the worst-graded systems in the study, each with a C-.



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