When the west portal of the North Hollywood Metro Station finally opened almost a year ago, my feelings ranged.
Anger, indifference and mild jolts of excitement filled my alphabet soup bowl of emotions.
Personally, the opening probably shaves 2 – 3 minutes off of my morning commute since I live west of the station.
For Mrs. CV, it’s more like a wash now that she stops into the new Groundworks coffee on the way in.
There were some complaints that safety issues on Lankershim should have been dealt with above ground instead of building a tunnel, but getting people directly to the Orange Line was a good priority too.
My biggest beef was the price tag which landed at a higher than expected $30 million.
For the money, we got two elevators, two escalators, stairs and a nice sculpture to help people identify this as North Hollywood.
That was a lot to spend, but I figured over time people would forget the pricetag because that’s what we normally do.
If I was a PR specialist, I’d be highlighting the service record of the staircases.
They’re a solid piece of engineering, easy to understand and they’ve never failed to function (yes, this is sarcasm).
Stairs are boring, simple and of course, should work.
What I’ve found in this first year is having all the escalators and elevators working at the same time is a rare circumstance.
I got so annoyed that last week I finally decided to document the westside’s status on my way home daily and this is what happened:
Monday: One escalator down, one elevator down
Tuesday: One escalator down
Day 2 at NoHo station: one escalator down, but both elevators working. https://t.co/u6ppC4XKxf
— Ciclavalley (@Ciclavalley) June 28, 2017
Wednesday: One escalator down
Thursday: One escalator down
Our offices were closed on Friday, so I don’t know what happened then, but if I had money riding, the good bet would be on something not working.
For this to be the norm less than a year in is unacceptable.
I’ve been exiting the 7th Street Metro Station, one of the busiest stations in the system and decades older operationally than the west portal.
Breakdowns do happen there occasionally, but compared to NoHo West, those numbers are microscopic.
Even the east entrance in North Hollywood, which is only a few years younger than 7th Street, hasn’t been plagued by these problems.
While the east has one long escalator to take you to the surface, you need to fide two shorter ones to make it up on the west.
When the two new escalators have a worse service record than a older, longer one that’s more likely to have problems, something has been done horribly wrong.
I’ve been trying to give these breakdowns the benefit of the doubt, but enough time has passed and enough dollars have been spent to start holding those accountable.