Monday, November 26, 2007

Regional Connector

The Regional Connector is a potential connection between the Blue and Expo lines and the Gold Line to Pasadena and East Los Angeles. This is an important enhancement to the existing lines, that would allow a one-seat ride into and across downtown Los Angeles, rather than current transfers at 7th and Flower or Union Station to the Red Line or downtown buses.

Metro is beginning an Alternatives Analysis on potential routes. There are many possible routes; the map above (click to enlarge) is my submission, seeking the shortest and quickest route across downtown that serves important destinations.

It would continue in subway from the existing Blue / Expo Line station at 7th Street up Flower Street to 3rd Street, then make a diagonal across Bunker Hill. It would continue east under 1st Street, then curve north under Main Street beneath the City Hall south lawn.

North of Temple Street it would transition from shallow subway to aerial by Los Angeles Street at Aliso Street. The final section would be aerial along Aliso Street to an aerial half grand union with the Gold Line at Aliso and Alameda, to allow trains to go in all directions.

Potential subway station locations are:

  • Flower Street at or north of 5th Street, which also serves southern Bunker Hill via existing escalators;
  • Around Grand Avenue and 2nd Street, serving northern Bunker Hill (hopefully part of the redevelopment project there);
  • By City Hall either on 1st Street around Spring Street or on Main Street near Temple Street.

2 comments:

Jack McKinnon said...

It's great to see an intelligent and positive proposal to counter some of the "why it can't work here" mentality.

My only concern regards the ease of passenger connectivity between the lines. A shared station at Civic Center would seem to make sense. But Metro has not had the best luck at keeping lifts and escalators operational, so if the connector's portion of the station is beneath the existing subway, that could frequently mean a long climb for passengers who are exiting the station rather than connecting to the subway.

Whatever is decided, it would be great to avoid another situation like the poor connection between the subway and the Gold Line at Union Station. I feel sorry for those who have to wrestle with the Metrolink and Amtrak passengers for a bit of elbow room in the access tunnel in order to make that connection twice per day.

Wright said...

Jack,

What could be done here is take advantage of the Bunker Hill Topography and start the line out as a Subway under Flower and right where Flower turns into Hope the line can "portal" out using that passing lane and duck right into a shallow tunnel under Second.

This would allow a stop on Grand and having a station right on the Grand Avenue development and be closer to the surface so that all that will be needed are series of ramps rather than elevators think of the Memorial Park station on the Gold Line.

From there it could run beneath Upper Second Street until Olive/Hill street where it transitions from a tunnel to an elevated, taking advantage of the fact that there's a 25-35 foot drop in elevation there.

The line could continue elevated on Second Street utilizing the right-of-ways that are south of the new LAPD bldg and The Caltrans building until Los Angeles and continues as an elevated all the way to the East LA Gold Line bridge at Aliso/Alameda.