by Pat Kramer
City of Hope is playing a key role in the upcoming Foothill extension of the Metro Gold Line, which is expected to open in about five years.
Planners expect that visitors and staff members will be able to reach City of Hope through the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s light rail system by 2012, potentially saving transportation costs and improving commuting convenience.
Since the train’s platform will be located alongside Duarte Road, just east of the northeast corner of the City of Hope campus in Duarte, Calif., City of Hope’s representatives have been especially active in the local station’s creation.
Sue Wyninegar, account group manager in communications, served as a member of the Gold Line Station Design and Art Review Committee, which helped prepare the Duarte station’s design. As part of the eight-member group of community and business leaders, she spent two months screening more than 25 artists who sought to design the station. The committee chose Stanton Gray Sears and Andrea Myklebust, two esteemed Midwestern artists, for the Duarte station’s design.
Wyninegar then helped review the artists’ final work, attended community meetings on the project and helped revise the designs based on community input.
The Duarte Gold Line station will provide travelers with open-ended shelters set on bronze and stone columns that depict Duarte’s past as a Western town built on a riverbed surrounded by orange groves.
Wyninegar recently received a certificate of appreciation from the City of Duarte for her participation in the Gold Line project.
“Working with the artists and representing City of Hope on the art design committee was a great honor,” said Wyninegar. “I was pleased with the artists’ design, and I believe that when the project is completed, it will lend a new element of beauty and increased access to patients, visitors, employees and others who come to visit City of Hope.”
Sue Hodor, public affairs director for the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, estimates that construction on the extension will begin in 2009. Duarte will be part of an 11.4-mile line that will extend from today’s easternmost Gold Line station — Sierra Madre Villa in Pasadena — to a station off Citrus Avenue in eastern Azusa. When that is completed, work will begin on a second extension, which will continue east another 12.5 miles to the Montclair station in San Bernardino County.
The current Gold Line reaches as far southwest as Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. Travelers may currently travel between any two stations on the Gold Line for $1.25.
“The value the Gold Line provides is a lifestyle change for residents and visitors to the area,” said Hodor. “It will take cars off the freeways, and some people may begin to choose locations to live and work that are more easily accessible by light rail. In those regards, I see the Gold Line as providing increased value.”
For more information about the extension, visit www.foothillextension.org.