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Community Meetings for Regional Connector Continue Wednesday and Thursday

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, June 29, 2011, at 07:35AM
Regional Connector Render: 2nd Street Looking West Metro

An early Regional Connector rendering shows the planned 2nd and Broadway station at its original location near Los Angeles Street.

Public meetings continue Wednesday and Thursday for the Regional Connector, a $1.4-billion underground link intended to connect the county's light rail lines into a single system.

The 1.9-mile line has come along way since the first public meetings were held in late 2007. At the time, it was clear that Metro staff believed that the line would be an aboveground train running across Downtown streets.

That didn't fly with the community—or with the city's department of transportation—and the refinement process led to the underground system approved by Metro's board last October.

In the process it lost a station at 5th and Flower, the victim of escalating costs and a fixed budget number.

At the time, Metro staff offered that the Metro Center station at 7th and Figueroa could be expanded, with a new portal at 6th Street mitigating the loss of the upper Financial District station.

That concept made no appearance at last week's first update meeting, though Metro did present a plan to widen sidewalks on Flower Street between 4th and 6th streets.

As noted over at Metro's The Source blog, the agency plans to revamp service when the Connector opens by creating one north-south line and one that would run east-west. All trains would share the tracks between the Little Tokyo and Pico stations, with service running as often as every 90 seconds.

Wednesday's meeting will take place at 6:30pm inside the Japanese American National Museum (369 E. 1st) and will be streamed live online. Thursday, a 6:30pm meeting will take place at the L.A. Times building (145 S. Spring). More information can be found on Metro's website.

Metro hopes to release the project's final environmental documents this summer, putting them before the agency's board as early as October.


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