Metro committee to consider contract for Union Station Master Plan

Union Station’s main hall. Photo via Metro Transportation Library and Archive flickr photostream.

Here’s a quick update on an issue that we know a lot of Source readers are interested in: The Metro Board of Directors Planning & Programming Committee will consider authorizing a contract with L.A.–based design firm Gruen Associates to carry out the Union Station Master Plan. The meeting — details here — will be held tomorrow at 1 p.m at Metro headquarters.

The item will also be considered by the full Metro Board of Directors, which will make the final determination on awarding the contract.

As many readers know, Metro purchased Union Station last year from a private logistics firm and then invited a number of design firms to convince Metro that they were up to the task of developing a comprehensive vision for Union Station.

In short, the goal is to plan for Union Station’s maturation into a world class transit center. The plan will include consideration of how to improve transit connections at the region’s main transit hub; how to improve bike and pedestrian connections to the station; and how to develop the considerable station-area property that Metro now owns.

More information on the agenda item and background on the master planning process are below:

June 20, 2012 Planning and Programming Committee Meeting Agenda Item 5

10 replies

  1. IMO, Metro needs to do a better transit oriented development themselves at the other Metro Rail stations they own, not just Union Sta.

    The Red Line stations are so full of empty dead spaces that could be put to better use. The other light rail stations are just platforms that bring no value of return as well. Adding a simple candy bar and soda vending machine or a newspaper stand would do a lot more than zero.

  2. @juan Rosillo: Metro has zero to do with Metrolink stations, which are owned by respective cities. In your case, City of Norwalk.

    As for the Metro owned Union Station and surrounding property, I saw the grand renderings but they fall short of what downtown/chinatown really needs, something to keep the area lively rather than just a transfer point, so I propose affordable residential housing at Koreatown prices to invite young professionals into downtown, a nice Westfield or similar mall at Union Station would be so well utilized it would be what the Japanese would do, insert a Cheesecake Factory into the old Fred Harvey restaurant, setup some freestanding retail kiosks in the old ticketing area ala Boston’s Union Station, and dedicate a corner of the station to a Los Angeles Transit Museum, also have the Twin Towers Jail and LADOT bus depot removed for more mixed use, mixed income housing, retail, and pedestrian improvements such as capping the 101 freeway into a park for a short distance.

  3. the article mentioned improving pedestrian movement. here is something that can be implemented right away and not a huge cash outlay. the escalators for the Red Line at both ends of the station that lead to ticket machines & turnstiles; reverse the direction of their flow. to eliminate the “blending” of patrons trying to gain access to the machines and the patrons attempting to continue on to destination after leaving the train. say, from the westend of the station near Starbucks, the nearest escalator would take down while the far one would bring travelers up after exiting the turnstiles

  4. “Many cities do not need as much parking on the stations as we need here in Los Angeles.”

    Better ways to get to the station are more important than building more parking spaces. If there are serious parking space issues, Metro would be better off implementing lot control: start charging for car parking space.

  5. Frank M.’s suggestion is technically correct but requires a giant-sized “IF.”

    For Union Station, we need somebody in the old Harvey House, a replacement for Union Bagel, a better bookstore/ magazine stand (manga stand? I can dream) and not much else for the HISTORIC front entrance.

    More signs and maps everywhere, of course, and a TAP card reader at Famima!! (I can dream x2).

    When HSR comes through, I hope it isn’t remote from the Metrolink and Gold Line tracks.

  6. @juan

    If everyone of those car drivers at Norwalk Sta. switched to a scooter or a motorcycle to get there, you can fit 10,000 motorcycles (considering you can fit 4 two-wheelers in a single space it takes to fit one car). That’s quadrupling the amount of people at that station without even building something new.

  7. Will be nice to turn our attention to pressing issues like building a parking structure al I-605 Norwalk station GREEN LINE, for the past ten years the parking is full by 7.15 AM even that are 2.500 spaces. Thousands of cars are going back into the freeway every day just from this station alone, the green line serve a vast portion los Angeles and Orange County. The green line is used by working people every day commuting to work and is suppose to be the line to LAX.
    That station may not be as visible as others but the green is really in need of getting the parking shortage fix. Many cities do not need as much parking on the stations as we need here in Los Angeles.