Metro Packs the House at Downtown Connector Meeting

(Hello readers from the Transit Coalition. You can read other Street Heat transit coverage from the past week here, here, and here.)

A large and enthusiastic audience attended today’s Metro meeting on the Regional Connector Transit Corridor Study at the public library. A standing-room-only room couldn’t fit all interested parties, and Metro Staff actually had to move themselves into the hallway to make room for everyone.

While it will be between seven and ten years before any new rail or bus lines are operational as a result of this project, over twenty-five speakers took time to give their vision of what a downtown transit corridor should look like. Because Metro stressed that everything possible was still being considered, light and heavy rail, Bus Rapid Transit, regular bus, and even monorail were all promoted (or opposed) by the speakers.

The speakers list was as diverse as the testimonies provided. Representatives from the Transit Coalition, Citizens for Better Mobility, Keep LA Moving, the Downtown Business Improvement District, Downtown LA Neighborhood Council, the Realtors Board and others all spoke about their specific wants and concerns. Business groups seemed most concerned with providing access to the shops and restaurants. Transit advocates were more concerned with the safety and long-term sustainability of the project. Many also noted that with a route that begins at the 7th Street Metro Center, this study provides a chance for their to be a one-seat ride from Santa Monica all the way to Union Station.

If the people in the room had to choose a route and mode today, we would probably see some sort of light rail coming from the Metro Center (where Expo will run to from the south) and continuing up Flower Street to the Bunker Hill or Civic Center areas where it would then turn east and head towards Union Station. However, we’re a long way away from even seeing a proposed route.

Scoping hearings are usually the first part of public outreach on a project. At this point, the public tells Metro what modes, alignments, and alternatives it should study while trying to meet the projects goals. In this case, the goal is to connect all of the transit that runs to downtown LA and to reduce congestion within the study area. At this point, nothing is decided, not the route, not the mode, not the station stops…nothing. The study area is two square miles in the downtown with the 110 as its western boundary, the 101 as its northern boundary, 9th and 7th Streets as its southern boundary and Alameda Street as its eastern boundary.

Miss the meeting? Don’t worry…there’s another one Wednesday night from 6:00-8:00pm at the Japanese America National Museum. For more information about the study, or to submit your own comments (due by 11/21) visit the project website.

By January, Metro should have a list of possible modes and routes to study and will then hold a series of "Screening Meetings." It expects to announce a "locally preferred alternative" by April of 2008…then it will begin the environmental review.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Transit Coalition Monthly Meeting with Art Leahy

|
Hello Southland Transit Supporters: Have you ever wanted to know more about the latest happenings at Metro and the many projects? Well, here is your chance to learn, listen and get some answers first hand from Arthur T. Leahy, Chief Executive Officer of Metro, who will update attendees on what has been happening at Metro. […]

More Transit Expansion?: Metro Holding Meetings in South Bay

|
Map via The Transit Coalition It’s funny.  Los Angeles has a reputation for being the car-culture capital of America; and while I know the city’s transportation culture is a lot more diverse than that; I have trouble arguing the point when I see things such as today’s City Council Transportation Committee Hearing, which could be […]

Secrets on developing Metro Mega Projects: I-405 Corridor & 710 Gap Closure, Transit Coalition Monthly Meeting

|
Don’t Miss This Unique Chance to hear Roger S. Moliere, Metro Real Property & New Business Development Chief as he reveals the latest information about the Public Private Partnerships in development at LACMTA. One Multi-Billion Dollar project coming up is the I-405 Rail Tunnel and Vehicle Toll Road tender. Some are curious about the I-710 gap closure project and the […]

Regional Connector F.A.Q. 2 – What the Heck Is Going On?

|
When the final environmental documents for the Regional Connector were released to the public, we published a Frequently Asked Questions article explaining some of the politics and the issues facing the rail project.  In the body of the article, Streetsblog glossed over the concerns of a number of major players in the Downtown Financial District […]