Sunday, May 11, 2008

Regional Connector update

Last week blogdowntown reported the final two options for the 1.5-mile Regional Connector that will provide a one-seat ride into and across downtown between the Blue / Expo Lines and the Pasadena / Eastside Gold Line.

These images (click to enlarge) are updated from Metro's February presentation. (Turns out my suggestions last November didn't work structurally to connect with the existing Gold Line bridge at Aliso.)

In Alternative 3B the existing Flower Street tunnel would be extended up to street level at 4th for a station, cross 3rd at-grade, cut through the 2nd Street tunnel wall, then run on the south side of the tunnel and middle of 2nd (image below). A one-way couplet on Main and Los Angeles completes the route up to Temple and the Gold Line.

Alternative 5 is a subway extension up Flower and beneath 2nd Street. It would ramp up from a portal at 2nd and Central across the Office Depot lot to cross Alameda at-grade. Alameda would be depressed below 1st Street.

This rendering shows the proposed at-grade alignment on 2nd Street. It does all fit in the 60' street right-of-way (5' sidewalk, 10' station platform, 24' trackway, 11' traffic lane, and 10' sidewalk).

But detailed study and the relatively-small price difference — $650 million vs. $800 million — is likely to conclude that the subway is the best choice, for a faster ride with less traffic and train disruption.


Anonymous said...

We really do need the “Downtown Connector”. But leave it to the MTA to pick the worst possible surface alignment. I can understand their choice for the Second Street alignment since they do not want a surface alignment so they pick the worst. An all First St or Second St alignment would work best as long as it stays underground until it reaches its East West bound alignment.

I disagree that the Second St surface alignment would kill businesses. If Second St was a pedestrian transit Mall that would be friendly to people instead of cars it could be a very popular walking street and actually be more attractive than First St for businesses, resterents and pedestrians as they are in many European Cities. That is if the MTA does it right.

The Second St subway alignment does not even have a stop for the massive new Grand Ave project and East Civic Center high density office projects. Also the the Spring St station should be a Spring Broadway, not a Spring Main St Station. After all Broadway is still Los Angeles’s “Main St”.

Since the MTA made it very clear that there will not be a surface route lets get behind the subway route and get things going as soon as possisable, but see that the Grand Ave project is served and the line is designed right with out too much gold plating.

Anonymous said...

Having a "Downtown Connector" is great, but at what cost? Additional traffic jams on already busy sections of 2nd and Hill/Spring/Main. Turning 2nd Street into a non pedestrian friendly street. The sketch on the bottom of the page gives a false sense of how wide 2nd Street really is. It is not to scale unless MTA plans to shorten the existing sidewalks. With increase in Downtown residents and thousands of visitors, we need more open roads not close down roads. The best plan is an Underground Downtown Connector which will serve it purpose and create less impact on the streets. I hope the MTA will do what's best for Downtown and not cut corners on the project. Spending more now and do it right will benefit all in the end.