In February and March of this year, the Department of City Planning conducted a series of workshops and an extensive online survey to determine how members of the communities adjacent to the new Purple Line Subway Extension feel about various aspects of new development in those areas. The research was an essential part of the city’s efforts to develop a new Purple Line Transit Neighborhood Plan, which will be used to guide future development in the Purple Line area.
Yesterday, the city released the results of the Purple Line TNP survey, and they provide an interesting picture of neighbors’ concerns.
First of all, it’s worth noting that while the city sent out more than 38,000 mailers about the survey, reached more than 2,400 people by e-mail (either directly or through forwarding), more than 5,000 people through social media contacts, and interacted with more than 100 people at in-person meetings, they received only 308 survey responses…so the total pool of responses was relatively small among possible respondents.
However, among those who did fill out the survey (see the original questions here), 97 live in Miracle Mile, Sycamore Square, “the Carthays,” La Brea Hancock and Wilshire La Brea, which are the neighborhoods most immediately adjacent to the three new stops (at La Brea, Fairfax and La Cienega) along Section 1 of the Purple Line. And the number of resident respondents was pretty evenly divided between homeowners and renters.
Among this group of neighborhood resident respondents, a strong majority said they see the Purple Line as an asset to the community, and that they would support more housing units near the Purple Line stations…but 79.23% also said they do not see the area as an affordable place to live (and most said they do not know where they would go if they did have to move).
Looking at the scale of potential new housing developments in the Purple Line area, most respondents (not just residents), indicated a preference for the tallest buildings (12 stories or more) along the Wilshire corridor, with lower scale buildings on commercial streets like La Brea and Fairfax, and denser residential streets like Detroit (between Wilshire and Third St.). 41.9% expressed a preference for keeping new buildings to 1-2 stories on lower density residential streets, like 6th St. west of Fairfax.
Among possible features of new housing developments, respondents ranked affordable housing, publicly accessible open space, a mix of uses, and “high-quality building design” as their most wanted items.
As for possible ways to add housing density, the overwhelming choice of respondents was to “concentrate units in taller buildings on commercial corridors.”
And while 256 of 308 respondents said they currently rely mostly on their own cars for mobility, 90.1% said they would use the Purple Line either occasionally or regularly when it opens…though most also said they weren’t sure it would reduce their need for their own cars or parking.
These are just a few of the highlights of the survey…but there’s a lot more to look at and think about. If you’d like to see the full presentation, go to http://www.latnp.org/purple-line/survey/, which has a link to interactive displays of the various data (handy because you can filter reponses by area and other factors). A downloadable, static version of the results is also available at http://www.latnp.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/PLTNP-Survey-Results-2019-FINAL.pdf