blogdowntown 89.3 KPCC | Southern California Public Radio

Stay Connected

@blogdowntown on Twitter
blogdowntown on Facebook


Making Use of Empty Space

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2005, at 06:13PM

Last night was the DLANC Transportation & Public Works commitee meeting. One of the items on the agenda -- and one that was on last month's as well -- is street furniture. One of the main focuses of this furniture (at least on our committee) is placing more services (vending, automated public toilets, etc) around Metro stations Downtown. That got me to thinking... What kind of uses could we put in the wasted space inside those stations?

The design of LA's subway stations creates a lot of floor space. The traffic patterns that govern the flow from entrances to the platforms dictate that not all of this space will be used equally. How can we leverage these less used spaces to make Downtown a better place?

Let's take the Pershing Square station as an example, since I come through there quite a bit. The station has two entrances: at 4th and 5th. If you look at the 5th St. entrance you'll find escalators from the east side of Hill, that take you down into the ground and let you out on the east side of the north-south station. There is no corresponding entrance from the other side, so the main traffic pattern is to enter the ticket purchase mezzanine on that one side and to move only as far over as you need to get onto the escalator down to the platform.

That leaves about half of the mezzanine level in the station unused. What kind of use could be put into that space?

The first thing to come to my mind would be vending, but that has a number of problems. You can't really sell food when you don't allow food or drink on the subway. You could sell newspapers and magazines, but you risk greatly increasing the amount of such print material that gets left in stations and on trains.

There's a lot of space, though, so there has to be something fun you could do here. What kind of ideas are out there?


Tweet This Story || Share on Facebook