Regional Connector pics, housing and transit: HWR, May 8

Below are some pics taken this spring at or near two stations under construction for the Regional Connector — Historic Broadway (at 2nd and Broadway) and Grand Av Arts/Bunker Hill (at 2nd and Hope). The photos were taken by Ken Karagozian for Metro. I converted the top one to black and white because everything’s better in B+W.

The Connector will tie together the Blue, Expo and Gold Lines and allow quicker light rail trips to and through DTLA. Example: if you ride the Gold Line into DTLA from East L.A., you will no longer have to go out of your way to Union Station to transfer to the subway to reach the heart of DTLA. The Connector is scheduled to open in 2022. More recent pics are here

And in the news…

•Ahead of Uber’s going public on the stock market, Uber drivers in L.A. and other cities in the U.S. and world went on strike today, reports the LAT. While rides were still easy to get, says the LAT, the greater risk to Uber is that legislators start passing laws requiring better treatment of its drivers.

•Also in the LAT: local columnist Steve Lopez takes a tour of Cathay Circle as a way to discuss SB 50, the proposed state law that would pre-empt local zoning in some cases and allow more housing to be built near frequent bus and train lines. Not surprisingly, Lopez finds that single-family homeowners are not eager to see the zoning changed in their neighborhoods to allow residential buildings that could be 45- or 55-foot tall — if that neighborhood is close to a rail or ferry stop.

Confused by SB 50? Curbed San Francisco has a good flow chart graphic, although it’s still not always easy to figure out what would be allowed to be built where. Here’s the bill tracker for SB 50.

•Discussion of the proposed service changes in Metro’s draft budget in the thread below. No argument about the ridership numbers although I’d say they’re falling here and many other parts of the country for a variety of reasons ranging from the good economy to gas prices to increasing auto sales to Uber/Lyft competition to, yes, service issues.

•It’s National Bike Month. In celebration, here’s a tweet from a ride in Long Beach — kudos to the cyclist for avoiding the obstacles.


11 replies

  1. Great project, but the inability to get it done on schedule stinks.

  2. Those are some great photos to preview Metro’s grandest project. As a result of this tunnel being completed, we could have the longest light rail line in the world–the Blue Line (future Line A)!

    That’s too bad the opening date got pushed back again; hopefully no more complications arose…

  3. Wonder how much rent will rise between now and 2022 and if the people that voted for this will be able to take full advantage.

    Short line, which is taking too long to build. Not that the duration needs explaining since i’m familiar with Los Angeles’s sloppy history and just paving over things (old railroad), but manage expectations properly. I remember this having a completion date of 2020 if im correct.

  4. Great photos. Work faster and get the trains running sooner than 2020. I am 84 and want to see this project to completion and even ride the train all the way from Atlantic Blvd. in East LA to Colorado in Santa Monica. Quick quick, chop chop !!!!!

    • Hi Roger —

      The Regional Connector is scheduled to open in 2022! But we hear you loud and clear: sooner rather than later.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  5. I’m confused by the “double teardrop” vault seen in some excavation pictures. What leads to this shape? And what are those teardrop walls made of? The photo looks like they are being scraped away… are they grouted earth?

  6. The Regional Connector looks like it is shaping up to be a successful project. I wonder if there will be another tunnel at the Little Tokyo station for the trains to get to Union Station. I know that a tunnel is already in progress for the trains to come out of the ground and head east.

    • Hi Paul —

      Yes, another entrance to the tunnel will be dug so trains can head to Union Station, as they do now.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  7. The Regional Connector pictures were wonderful and I loved them. You have to give a lot of credit to the men and women that do that type of hard labor every day.

    One of the problems with Uber & Lyft that my brother has found out by being a Lyft driver is that most people who use the service do not tip the drivers no matter what the driver does to accommodate the passengers. Also, about the CEO getting a big, fat raise; corporations just love making sure their CEO’s are handsomely paid even though everyone under them does the grunt work. Until boards of companies stop with the fantastic raises and bonuses to their CEO’s than nothing will change.