Metro has taken another step forward in its plan to reconnect Union Station wih surrounding communities, with the release of the draft environmental impact report for the station forecourt and esplanade project.
First announced in 2014 as part of the larger Union Station Master Plan, the proposal endeavors to make the historic transit hub more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. Per Metro's blog the Source, the key elements of the project include:
- A tree-lined esplanade along both sides of Alameda Street, with accommodations for pedestrians and cyclists. This would be created by reducing one travel lane in each direction along Alameda Street.
- An expanded pedestrian plaza on the west side of Alameda, which would be created by removing one traffic lane along Los Angeles Street and moving tour bus parking to Arcadia Street. This would allow for a wider crosswalk that leads directly to Union Station's main entrance, and provide a buffered crossing for cyclists.
- New park and civic space at the front of Union Station, converting what is now a surface parking lot.
Metro has previously identified $12.3 million in funding for the project, and is continuing to look for additional money, specifically for the proposed forecourt.
Environmental studies for the project are expected to conclude in 2018. Construction could begin as early as 2020.
More information will be available at a public workshop on September 13 from 6 pm to 8 pm at Metro Headquarters.