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Highlighting Downtown Arcadia: The Gold Line Turns Two!

Gold Line service from Arcadia to Azusa began on March 5, 2016 and ridership continues to exceed projections. – Photo courtesy / Tim Schwehr Arcadia Economic Development

The Downtown Arcadia Improvement Association

March 5 was the day the train starting running again in Downtown Arcadia. Many folks in the City had that day circled on their calendars for a long time, as the opening of the Gold Line Arcadia Station had been awaited with much anticipation. There were years of planning and environmental review, the passage of an initiative by Arcadia residents to build a bridge across Santa Anita Avenue, and seemingly endless construction. But, two years ago, along with much fanfare and ceremony, the station opened and a new era of transit in Arcadia began.

So what have those two years brought to Downtown Arcadia? There has been a lot of good that has come along with it. Ridership has exceeded expectations and has continued to grow significantly, bringing new vitality to the Downtown. Visitors arrive at an Arcadia Station and Transit Plaza that is reminiscent of the Santa Anita Racetrack and that is filled with information about the Downtown and what it has to offer.

Interest in development projects in Downtown Arcadia and new business in the area has steadily risen. Several projects are under construction in close proximity to the Gold Line that will bring new residents, students, and shoppers to the area. A brewery, a wine shop, and several new restaurants and offices have opened in those two years.

Events and gatherings such as the Holiday Market, Golden Streets Event, Holiday Tree Lighting, Patriotic Festival, and Menorah Lighting have occurred in the Transit Plaza that have brought people to the area. Arcadia Transit circulator buses take visitors and residents from the station to other exciting places in the City, like Santa Anita Park, Westfield Santa Anita, and the Arboretum.

But with all the good has also come some challenges. The popularity of the Gold Line has led to parking issues in and around the station. Businesses are being affected and the City is working on solutions to the impacted areas. In addition, an increase in the transient population along the Gold Line corridor is another regional issue that is the focus of many groups in the area. So, turning two isn’t all rosy for the Gold Line.

What will the next two years bring? And the two after that? The future is in the works around the Gold Line Station, as the City is working on major plans for pedestrian improvements, street and landscaping improvements, and bicycle facility improvements throughout the area and centered on the Gold Line. The Downtown Arcadia Improvement Association will have a voice in these conversations and decisions. In addition, several major new land use projects are on the horizon that will bring more residents, shops, vitality AND much needed parking to the area. These will be exciting times in Downtown Arcadia and we look forward to growing along with the Gold Line as it expands further east over the next 8 years to Montclair.

March 15, 2018

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