Regional Connector FEIS moved to full Board of Directors

The Metro Board of Directors’ planning committee on Wednesday moved the Regional Connector’s final environmental study to the full Board for their consideration. The Committee, as it often does, did not make a recommendation on the item. 

Several property owners along Flower Street testified that the cut-and-cover construction planned to dig the Connector’s tunnel under Flower would carry too many impacts on the Financial District. They asked that Metro instead use the tunnel boring machine that will be used to dig the Connector’s tunnel under 2nd Street. 

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9 replies

  1. @various posters – I’m not familiar enough with all the analysis to evaluate how well Metro made the routing decision. But they did do some analysis. They didn’t just say “Gee, let’s make straight lines, bendy ones are too confusing!”
    Note specifically that the lines don’t just serve their end points (a la “Pasadena to Santa Monica”.) The northern leg of the gold line will go out to Azuza. It also serves Highland Park, Lincoln Heights, Chinatown, etc. The expo line will serve downtown, mid-city, etc, not just Santa Monica.

    • I think it’s also worth pointing out that transfers between the east-west and north-south line should be very easy and quick. For example, a person riding a train from Santa Monica, could step off the train at any of the downtown light rail stations and wait on the same platform for the next north-south train. Metro planners say that trains should be running at such high frequencies in the future that the wait will likely be no more than a few minutes, at the most. So one transfer to ride between (for example) downtown Santa Monica and downtown Pasadena is pretty good and I suspect the ride on the train will still be faster and less hassle than the Santa Monica-to-Pasadena drive at rush hour.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. Anyone who thinks Pasadena to SM makes more sense than East LA to SM is blinded by an obvious bias. Pasadena middle and upper class folks may want to have a 1 train beach jaunt on the weekends. During the week…well…how to put this? A lot of people who work on the Westside in other people’s homes – go back to THEIR homes…in east LA in the evenings. Pasadena beach goers will just have to live with a brief transfer….East LA to West LA will be a true commuter train. Please note that the thickest traffic on the 10 in the AM is East to West – NOT West to downtown.
    It’s been a while since I’ve read such obvious yuppie blind spots in comments.

  3. Alternatively, Metro could start service as planned, with trains going from East L.A. to Santa Monica and from Pasadena to Long Beach.

    They could keep track of boardings, and check to see if there’s a lot of people transferring from Pasadena to Santa Monica. It should be a simple matter, if the ridership supports it, of switching trains to the Pasadena to Santa Monica route.

    Better to do it that way than to slow things down (because you just know it will) to study all the possible route combinations before construction. Also, better to have just two links rather than all four linked up. Too many links would complicate schedules and make for longer waits at the station.

  4. Fred,

    I’ve long been wondering the same thing. While I agree with you that the Pasadena-Santa Monica route would make much more sense for MY travel patterns, I can’t necessarily say that for the majority.

    I think there needs to be some ridership analysis (and predictions) done before the line opens — nothing that would delay it or its construction — to determine which routing would eliminate the larger number of transfers, rather than just pointing a horizontal and vertical line across a map.

    The purpose of the Regional Connector is to eliminate many transfers, so it seems that a study of which routes to run trains should be part of the process to eliminate the largest number possible.

  5. We both know that people in both Santa Monica and Pasadena never leave their respective bubbles. It makes a lot more sense to have a line go in one direction, rather than bow. Our streets go in a grid; it makes sense for rail to as well for the purpose of existing connections.

  6. Can we please have the MTA board re-think the directional bias of the connector project?

    Pasadena to Santa Monica makes a lot more sense than East LA to Santa Monica.

  7. Do we know why the cut-and-cover is so long? I’m guessing it might have something to do with the old Pacific Electric tunnel that’s sitting buried between 4th and 5th Streets, but it’s just a guess.