Daily Archives: January 8, 2014

Century City Sidebar

Working on a longer post about Sepulveda Pass, and started thinking about Century City.

From a transit perspective, Century City is perhaps the most vexing node in LA. It’s a huge destination, big enough to be called LA’s second downtown, but you have to go over a mile east or west to find anything resembling a decent north-south arterial. And even at that, you only hit Westwood/Overland and Robertson, the former of which isn’t even two lanes each way except during peak periods, when parking is restricted. To encounter real north-south capacity, you have to go over two miles in either direction, to Sepulveda and the 405 to the west and La Cienega to the east.

That’s a real rarity in LA, where there’s almost always a solid grid of arterials. In fact, I’m trying to think of another CBD in the country that’s that inaccessible and disconnected from the urban fabric, on two sides no less, and coming up blank.

In my fever dreams, the LA Country Club, Hillcrest Country Club, and Cheviot Hills undergo massive redevelopment, with Avenue of the Stars extended north to Sunset and south to Beverwil & Castle Heights, which also become real arterials. But until I have complete control over zoning. . .

The lack of north-south arterials anywhere near Century City is a huge transportation problem. For cars, it means you have to take Pico, Olympic, or Santa Monica east or west, forcing those roads to do double duty, serving east-west and north-south traffic. Since intense development in LA tends to follow arterials, it’s also a problem for transit. You can’t design a north-south transit route serving Century City that makes sense, doesn’t have huge route deviations, and doesn’t route buses along congested one-lane roads. Going underground doesn’t make sense because there’s nothing north or south of Century City worth that level of investment.

Anyway, more on Century City another time, and keep an eye out for that Sepulveda Pass post.