Keyboards Ready? Comment Period on Final Regional Connector Documents Begins…Now…

As more and more environmental documents are published and review periods begin, Streetsblog is going to write an impartial F.A.Q. to update our readers to what’s going on, why they should care, and how to get involved. Given the medium in which we write, we’ll be updating the comments section regularly, so if we don’t answer your question in the FAQ, leave it in the comments section and we’ll get to it.

Today begins the public comment period on the Regional Corridor Environmental Impact Statement.  You can read the final environmental documents, by clicking here.

Streetsblog will feature ads for the Regional Connector Final EIS/EIR throughout the next 30 days.

Wait a second, I thought the environmental documents were released last week?

They were. The documents were released last Friday, but the public comment period didn’t begin until today. They didn’t want to begin the comment period right before a three day weekend, so the extra week gave people interested in commenting a little more time.

Comments may be submitted via email to regionalconnector@metro.net. Alternately, comments can be sent by U.S. mail to: Dolores Roybal-Saltarelli, Project Manager, One Gateway Plaza, 99-22-2 Los Angeles, CA, 90012. The public may also comment on Metro’s website by clicking on “Contact us.”  Comments are due by February 20.

What does this mean for the project timeline?

Once public comment on the document is completed, staff will have a chance to respond to comments before the Metro Board of Directors certifies the documents.  Assuming there is no legal challenge, Metro could be ready to start hiring design contractors by the spring of this year.  The Board is expected to vote on the documents at their February 23rd Board Meeting, but could easily delay the final decision.

What does the documents say about routing and stations?

The route is entirely underground and will have five stations, three of them are new.  The route begins in the Little Tokyo Arts District, runs down to second street and heads west.  It cuts south on Flower Street before ending at Metro Center.  There is still some talk of adding a station at 5th and Flower, but no funding has been identified for this station.

I Don’t Live Near the Downtown or Little Tokyo.  Why should I care?

As its name implies, the connector will connect all of Metro’s rail lines.  The connector is the difference between having a lot of rail lines and having a rail system.

Is there any opposition to the Regional Connector?

It’s a rail project in Los Angeles.  Of course there’s opposition!  In this case, the opposition comes from businesses in the Little Tokyo area that are worried that construction will cause too much noise and chaos for the businesses to remain open.  Metro created a committee to work with impacted businesses and provide some sort of compensation for business lost.

This is one long document, I need help finding what I want to read!

Email your questions to regionalconnector@metro.net

If you have another question, leave it in the comments section.  We’ll do our best to get you an answer, so check back throughout the day.

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