The Infamous Sepulveda Pass Could Get A Rail Line

Unpaved Sepulveda Boulevard after completion in 1930 (Photo via Automobile Club of Southern California Archives)

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority recently held a series of public meetings to discuss plans to build a rail line through the Sepulveda Pass. It's just the latest in a long line of attempts to ease travel through the notorious choke point.

The steep, narrow passageway through Sepulveda Canyon is one of the only ways to get between the L.A. basin and the San Fernando Valley — and it's never been easy.

What started as a footpath used by Native Americans, then the Spanish military and the Padres, became a paved road in the 1930s. But it didn't take long for it to become a clogged mess.

In 1962 the eight-lane freeway, which would come to be known as the 405, opened.

Since then traffic has tripled, with more than 300,000 cars passing through each day.

Two additional lanes were added in 2014, but they've done little to curb congestion.

Now Metro is exploring options to add rail — either a subway, underground light rail, freeway-running light rail or an elevated rail. They've presented the preliminary concepts for designs, routes and stops.

Editor's note: A version of this story originally appeared on KPCC.org


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