New concept developed to better connect the Regional Connector to Grand Avenue; community funding, however, will be needed

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One of the three new stations for the Regional Connector project will be at 2nd and Hope Street. Due to the topography of downtown Los Angeles, that presents some challenges for future patrons: those exiting the station bound for Grand Avenue would have to walk uphill to reach the many attractions along Grand Avenue, including the front side of Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, MOCA, the Colburn School and the Broad, the new art museum that is presently under construction.

At the request of members of the Regional Connector Community Leadership Council’s 2nd/Hope Committee – a group of area residents and stakeholders interested in the Regional Connector project — Metro has developed a concept that would provide a direct connection from the new station to Grand Avenue.

Before I go any further, it’s important to understand that this proposed concept is not presently funded as part of the project. Metro intends to put the concept in the package going to construction firms interested in proposing to build the Regional Connector project as an option in order to determine the additional cost of the connection concept. The Contractor will price the connection concept as an option and will honor this price proposal for 180 days from the awarding of the contract. The funds related to this connection would need to come from contributions from the community. The Design/Build construction contract for the project is expected to be awarded around the end of this year.

With that caveat in mind, please flip through the above slide show. The first several renderings show the station as is planned. The entrance would be at 2nd/Hope and a series of elevators would take patrons 77 feet below street level to the station concourse.

Under the proposed concept that Metro has developed, a second level could be added to the station as well as a bridge over Hope Street, subject to community funding. In this concept, the elevators would stop both at ground level and at bridge level, 23 feet above Hope, at the same level as the proposed GTK Way Plaza deck.

The 2nd/Hope Committee will now have to begin to discuss ways to raise the funding to build this proposed connection. I personally think it’s a very intriguing idea that will make an already good project even better and even more attractive to potential riders.

13 replies

  1. Awesome concept. Let’s hope funding is found. One of the things that deter people from taking the subway to Bunker Hill destinations is precisely that it’s a hill — not easy if you’re trying to get somewhere in a hurry, or if you’re all dressed up.

  2. I dont think the incline from Hope to Grand is steep unlike Olive to Hope. The station is at the back side to the buildings where the entrances to parking are. Imagine exiting the station and being surrounded by cars and car lanes. Not really pleasant. At least this extra entrance you can go between the museum and the apartments in a possibly beautiful courtyard plaza.

  3. I think this is an excellent idea, and I hope the funding can be found.
    We have to think three-dimensionally where Bunker Hill is concerned; this is less a pedestrian bridge and more an elevated sidewalk.

    The important thing is getting people from the “back side” of the hill on Hope over to Grand, and this will improve that walk considerably.

  4. I like the concept. Too bad they couldn’t find the money/political will to use the DTRC to connect Union Station to the future E-W light rail line. To me that is the main letdown of the project. This coud be avoided if instead of a N-S and E-W line, they reroute the light rails as follow: Pasadena – Eastside, Pasadena – LB, LAUS – SM

  5. Maybe safety concerns can drive this forward. The proposed 2nd/Hope station is an island surrounded by wide vehicle lanes with potentially fast moving traffic.

  6. The situation between the planned 2nd and Hope station and Disney Hall doesn’t strike me as being any worse than the already existing situation between the Civic Center station and Disney Hall. Every single concert I attend there, I have to make it from the platform at Civic Center up to ground level (hoping the up-escalator is running), then two blocks uphill to the Hall, and usually I have to do it in a hurry.

  7. Dr. M, I completely agree.

    “Traditional” commute patters in LA are east-west and north-south, which is why they’re planning the trains that way. In my opinion, it should go Pasadena-Santa Monica and East LA-Long Beach, though. Two reasons… lots of Pasadena Gold Line commuters are trying to reach USC, and lots of Metrolink riders (Union Station) would like to reach the westside.

    I work in Culver City, and know so many people who have tried Metrolink-Red Line-Expo Line and it’s just too much for them. They drive, but would surely do Metrolink-Expo Line if it had a direct connection.

    I think we may forget that a typical east-west commute may actually be using Metrolink from the east, rather than the Gold Line from the East.

    I wrote a bit about it near the bottom here:
    http://steven-white.com/2012/07/25/the-secrets-of-metro-rail-operations/

  8. How about a compromise where the museums and music center split the cost, and the second street station is re-named ‘Museum/Music Center’? These institutions will be the primary beneficiaries of the link, and ‘second street’ is not so much of a destination- all of the surrounding properties face the N/S streets, so no one will be going to a destination on second street.

    There would be a boon for the local residents, too. Telling your visitors to take the train to the “Museum/Music Center station” sounds alot better than “2nd street”

  9. Love Arch2000’s idea of exploring funding from the cultural institutions and renaming the station accordingly. Part of what a rapid transit system does is to create a new cartography for a city. To name stations after civic landmarks and neighborhoods is far more interesting and descriptive than to do so using bland intersections, as happens in L.A. more often than not.