It was the only thing anyone wanted to talk about all week: late on November 11, a fire erupted in a pallet yard below the 10 Freeway in Downtown Los Angeles, causing extensive damage to a roadway which carries 300,000 motorists each day. Despite fears of a long-term closure, it was announced yesterday that the freeway is on track to reopen by Tuesday, November 21. Rejoice, Thanksgiving travelers.

Live camera showing off the repairs here:

As might be expected in circumstances like this, the freeway closure was a boon to ridership on Metro's E Line, which saw a 10 percent bump. Likewise, Metrolink beefed up services on the San Bernardino Line, which parallels the 10 to the east of Downtown.

An E Line train running north on Flower Street toward Downtown Los AngelesWikimedia Commons

Going forward, some of the temporary measures brought about to deal with the freeway closure - such as adjustments to signal timing on street-running light rail lines - may result in permanent changes to the benefit of transit passengers. Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board member Karen Bass has announced a new motion which calls for Metro to work with Caltrans and jurisdictions on further signal prioritization for the E and A Lines. Potential measures include closing the eastbound I-10 ramp which crosses the Metro right-of-way on the problematic stretch of Flower Street in Downtown.

"A rendering of the CinemaWest Beach Cities Theatre exterior at night, which includes the patio area of its new standalone restaurant, and bar called Beach Cities Pizza"Cinema West & Continental Development Corporation

After three years of dark windows, the former Arclight Cinemas location at Continental Park in El Segundo is coming back under new management.

This week, Cinema West and landlord Continental Development Corporation announced plans to redevelop the shuttered Arclight on Rosecrans Avenue into a new concept called CinemaWest Beach Cities. It will feature 16 screens in renovated theaters, all featuring recliner seating and updated concessions. The project will also be accompanied by a new standalone restaurant called Beach Cities Pizza, serving food, cocktails, and of course, pizza.

“We look forward to the opening of CinemaWest Beach Cities in El Segundo, providing an exceptional movie experience for our residents and the entire South Bay," said El Segundo Mayor Drew Boyles in a news release.

A grand opening is expected in Summer 2024.

Route map for CicLAvia South LA - December 3, 2023CicLAvia

While trips to the theaters have been on the decline in the era of ubiquitous streaming, CinemaWest and Continental Development are follow in the footsteps of local success stories at the Grove and the Americana at Grand, where renovated theaters have continued to draw movie goers.

In case you missed it last week: On Sunday, December 3, CicLAvia hold its final event of 2023: a South Los Angeles route meandering through Leimert Park and Historic South Central. Check it out from 9 am to 3 pm. As always, remember that the event is for people powered transportation only - no electric scooters, skateboards, hoverboards, unicycles, or motorcycles, folks.

Here's what we're reading this week:

Help Metro Rename the Future West Santa Ana Branch Rail Line "The future 19-mile rail line will serve Artesia, Bell, Bellflower, Cerritos, Cudahy, Downey, Florence-Firestone, Huntington Park, L.A., Paramount, South Gate, and Vernon" (Streetsblog LA)

Map of the West Santa Ana Branch, showing possible interim operating segements and both proposed northern alignments.Metro

LA City Council Votes To Allow Rent Increases Of Up To 6% Next Year "The proposal will allow rent hikes of 4% beginning on Feb. 1 with additional 2% increases permitted for landlords who cover their tenants’ gas and electricity costs." (LAist)

LA Metro must implement Alternative 6 for Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project The Daily Bruin comes out in favor of a fully-underground subway for the Sepulveda Pass transit line (Daily Bruin)

Alternative 6 - fully underground heavy rail between the Van Nuys Metrolink Station and Expo/Bundy StationMetro

National Climate Assessment Outlines Issues For SoCal "...drought, flooding, extreme heat and fire — will only worsen if global greenhouse gas emissions aren’t cut significantly within this decade … or soon after." (LAist)

Bike-lane ‘backbone’ planned for Orange Ave; Atlantic Ave also set to get big upgrades "Major bike-lane projects are already underway on streets such as  Artesia Boulevard, Market Street, Broadway and Anaheim Street that run east-west, but north-south streets have lagged behind." (Long Beach Post)

Nick Andert's latest map of current and future rail and BRT linesNick Andert

2023 Update on LA Metro Projects New video, new map, estimated completion dates, and lots of Metro drama (Nick Andert - YouTube)

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