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Station Plans Shrinking in Regional Connector Designs?

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, October 04, 2011, at 05:42PM
Regional Connector - 2nd/Hope Metro

This new rendering of the Regional Connector's 2nd/Hope station shows only one entrance, at the uphill end of the sloping station site. A portal at 2nd and Flower is removed.

Metro's $1.4-billion Regional Connector light rail link is scheduled to release its final environmental documents later this month. When it does, it appears those following the project will find severely scaled-back designs for the entrances to two of the three new stations.

Rumors have been circulating in recent weeks that plan changes have cut one entrance off of both the 2nd/Hope and 2nd/Broadway stations, leaving the underground stations with just one portal each.

Wednesday: A top Metro planner today tells blogdowntown that the station changes are about balancing the project's budget, which has "very little margin."

Those potential cuts were confirmed today via a letter to Metro that Councilman Jose Huizar shared with his Bringing Back Broadway constituents. In the letter, sent last week, Huizar says that he "much prefer[s] the previous station drawings" for 2nd/Broadway, and that the single-entrance design creates "missed opportunities to provide pedestrian-friendly, easily navigable transit service to both the Historic Broadway Theatre District and the Downtown L.A. Streetcar on Broadway as well as the Civic Center, City Hall and the Historic Core on Spring Street."

Similar concerns are expressed for the 2nd/Hope station, which now has its single entrance at the top of Bunker Hill, cutting off those who would access the station from the northern end of the Financial District. Those buildings would originally have been served by a station at 5th/Flower, but Metro planners dropped that station last October to keep the project on-budget.

While Huizar's letter does not touch on it, rumors have been that the entrance cuts were similarly a response to rising costs. A call to Metro for clarification was not immediately returned on Tuesday.

Last month, a Metro spokesperson confirmed that the agency hopes to have the final environmental documents in front of its board at the December meeting.


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