Environmental study released for Union Station Forecourt and Esplanade project

The Union Station Forecourt and Esplanade project’s draft environmental impact report was released today and the document and appendices are now online.

The goal of the project is to better connect the largest transit hub in Southern California to the surrounding neighborhood — Chinatown, El Pueblo State Historic Park and Olvera Street, in particular — and make the station easier and safer to reach for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

The main components of the project are:

•Widen the sidewalks to create a tree-lined esplanade along both sides of Alameda Street in front of the station to be used by both pedestrians and cyclists. The pedestrian entrances to Union Station will also be reconfigured and expanded.

This will reduce Alameda from three through lanes to two through lanes in each direction between Arcadia Street and Cesar Chavez Boulevard. It’s worth noting that Alameda is generally two through lanes in each direction north and south of the station; the only part of Alameda that has three lanes in each direction is the few blocks closest to the station.


•Expand the pedestrian plaza on Los Angeles Street on the west side of Alameda Street by removing one westbound traffic lane and getting rid of the median that currently sits in the middle of Los Angeles Street. This will help create a much wider crosswalk across Alameda Street that will also be raised. Cyclists will have a dedicated crossing next to the crosswalk that will lead to a buffered bike lane southbound on Los Angeles Street.


Here are some other images that help show this part of the project: 

•Move tour bus parking for Olvera Street to Arcadia Street to free up space along Los Angeles Street. This will result in the loss of one traffic lane on Arcadia Street.

•Convert the north parking lot in front of Union Station to a park and civic space. This part of the project is not yet funded although Metro staff continue to work on identifying potential sources.

Metro staff is seeking to get the environmental studies for this project completed in 2018. Next would come project design and then construction, with construction possibly beginning in 2020.

A public workshop is being held on September 13 at Metro Headquarters from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the third floor Board room. Metro HQ is adjacent to Union Station and is easy to access from the East Portal.

If you are unable to attend the workshop, you can also submit comments in writing via mail or e-mail before September 25 by 5 p.m. to:

Elizabeth Carvajal, Senior Manager 
LAUS Forecourt and Esplanade Improvements
One Gateway Plaza, MS 99-23-4
Los Angeles, CA 90012



8 replies

  1. Now with the lane reductions, is their any reason why we can’t have bike lanes and accessibility to Union Station as part of this project?

  2. How about adding some amenities. Retail, office, housing, museums, galleries.

    Union Station already has enough open space. What it needs are things to do. Reasons for people to be drawn there every day.

  3. What would be helpful is to have a real mappable address so that people can add these dates to their calendar without having to search all over for this info. Or just have all your dates listed publicly in a google calendar or some other free resource available to the public

  4. Next your gonna propose an aerial concourse for Union Station that makes people walk up two extra flights of stairs to reach their Metrolink and Amtrak trains.

  5. So to make things more pedestrian friendly, you’re getting rid of the southern crosswalk that connects Father Serra Park to Union Station. That’s such a Metro way to plan.

  6. All of these things sound great and necessary. I just can’t believe that it’s going to end up taking almost 5 years to widen sidewalks, plant trees, and expand a crosswalk. Frustrating.