Metro To Pedestrianize Front Of Union Station, Seeking Input

Union Station Forecourt and Esplanade Improvements will reconfigure space to make the station more pedestrian oriented
Union Station Forecourt and Esplanade Improvements will reconfigure space to make the station more pedestrian oriented

Metro is planning big changes for Union Station. For the big picture overview, watch this video or read master plan documents. With recent state Active Transportation Program funding secured, the agency is moving forward with upgrades to the front of the station. These initial improvements will make it easier and safer for pedestrians. The pedestrian improvements are part of Metro’s Connect US linkages plan.

Last night, Metro kicked off a scoping meeting for environmental studies for the “Union Station Forecourt and Esplanade Improvements” project. Metro is seeking scoping input for its Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Readers can send Metro their scoping comments at CarvajalE[at]metro.net. The scoping comments deadline is January 31.

The planned Union Station improvements will create a 50-foot wide raised crossing at Alameda in front of Union Station. Image via Metro's Connect US plan
The planned Union Station improvements will create a 50-foot wide raised crossing at Alameda in front of Union Station. Image via Metro’s Connect US plan

For the space in front of Union Station, the project will dramatically reallocate space to give priority given to pedestrians. The parking lots in front of Union Station will give way to a civic plaza with a water feature. The narrow crosswalk across Alameda will be expanded to a 50-foot wide raised crossing. Half of Los Angeles Street will be closed to broaden the pedestrian plaza at El Pueblo. Alameda Street will be reduced from six lanes to four, with space given over to widened sidewalks and a sidewalk-level multi-use bike/walk path along the east side of Alameda. For details and renderings, see the Connect US plan.

Cross-section of planned new Union Station frontage
Cross-section of planned new Union Station frontage

Metro expects to complete its environmental studies by this summer, with construction anticipated in 2020.

(Post updated with clearer images. Concept design and drawings by Deborah Murphy Urban Design + Planning with Lyric Design & planning.)

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