Metro Presents Regional Rail Connector to a Wary Little Tokyo Audience
An option for Metro's Regional Connector in downtown won't be officially chosen until sometime next year (probably summer or fall), but Little Tokyo community members are severely concerned over one of the proposals that would bring some major changes to the neighborhood.
The regional connector would connect the Blue, Gold and Expo lines into a more seamless system. Trains would travel from Culver City to East LA and from Long Beach to Pasadena making Metro's rail system more efficient. Currently, the Blue Line and future Expo Line end at the 7th Metro Station and the Gold Line circumvents the eastside of downtown through Little Tokyo.
Two build ideas are on the table: underground and on the streets. In order for the less impactful-to-street-traffic underground option to work, it will have to transition to the Gold Line above ground in Little Tokyo, therefore changing the neighborhood's infrastructure. Last week's meeting with the Little Tokyo community proved Metro has a long way to go to win their support.
The construction period is of major concern, but also the long term effects of local traffic, the concept of a pedestrian flyover structure, access to local businesses and more. Question and answer periods reportedly "got very intense," according to Little Tokyo unBlogged.