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Eastside Access Improvements: 1st & Central Station Project

Project Overview

The Eastside Access Improvements project (or the Eastside Access 1 st /Central project) at the future Metro Regional Connector Gold Line 1 st / Central station in the communities of Little Tokyo and the Arts District  will help implement a program of streetscape, pedestrian safety, and bicycle access improvements in a one-mile radius around the station. These improvements will help enhance the livability of these communities and facilitate linkages to Union Station and integration of the bicycle and pedestrian access to Metro rail, bus, and bike systems.

The project will facilitate the following multi-modal and sustainable elements:

  • Crosswalk improvements at 23 intersections
  • Walk-bike esplanade measuring just over 1 mile and featuring double rows of street trees
  • Class I bike lanes
  • Streetscape improvements (including tree planting, sidewalk widening, repairs, and street furniture installation) along 5 miles of city streets
  • Replacement of 100 traditional street lights with low-energy LED street lights
  • 1 mile of bioswales for storm runoff management and water filtration
  • 1.7 miles of new Class II bicycle lanes

Eastside Access Improvements at 1st/Central is a Measure R project developed to improve multimodal access to the Metro L Line (Gold). Funding for the existing Little Tokyo/Arts District station was then allocated to the new Little Tokyo/Arts District station at 1 st and Central per  the Metro Regional Connector Transit Project, which is a 1.9-mile underground light rail project that will connect the Metro Gold Line to the 7 th St/Metro Center Metro Rail station by 2022.

Project Area

The Eastside Access 1 st /Central project improvements fall within a one-mile radius of the future 1 st /Central station (Little Tokyo/Arts District Station).

Specific project improvements will occur along the following seven segments:

1. 1 st Street from Los Angeles to Mission Street

2. Alameda Street from Commercial Street to 1 st Street

3. Los Angeles Street from Arcadia Street to 2 nd Street

4. 2 nd Street to Traction Avenue and Alameda Street – Intersection

5. Central Avenue from 1 st Street to 3 rd Street

6. Judge John Aiso/San Pedro Street from Temple Street to 3 rd Street

7. Santa Fe Street from Vignes Avenue to 4 th Street

8. Fundamental Pedestrian Improvements

Project Background

The Eastside Access Improvements at  1 st /Central  is a part of two other Metro projects: the Metro Gold Line Eastside Access Project and the Connect US Action Plan.

The Metro Gold Line Eastside Access Project (or Eastside Access Project) is a Measure R-funded project intended to improve multi-modal connections from the Metro Gold Line Eastside stations to the surrounding communities. A portion of the Eastside Access Improvements Project funding will be used toward the Eastside Access 1 st /Central project because the 1 st /Central will now be the new Little Tokyo/Arts District station when the Regional Connector is in operation.

In 2012, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) collaborated with the City of Los Angeles to prepare the “LA Union Station and 1 st /Central Station Linkages Study” with the intention of developing a plan to improve regional transit through improved bicycle and pedestrian linkages to services at Union Station. As the study progressed, it became clear that there may be overlapping planning efforts with the Eastside Access Improvements, which was undergoing design efforts for similar improvements around the Metro Gold Line stations. The “Linkages Study” was thus expanded to include the Regional Connector 1 st /Central station within its scope, and was renamed the Connect US Action Plan . Finalized in Fall 2015, the Connect US Action Plan identifies active transportation improvement projects that improve access around Downtown Los Angeles and lays a foundation for immediate project implementation upon funding availability.

The Eastside Access Improvements at 1 st /Central selects a number of identified corridors from the Connect US Action Plan as a base for further design development and implementation. In 2014, the project successfully applied for and received a Transportation Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. With funding support from the TIGER grant, the project was able to move forward to advance the design concepts and proceed further to implementation.


Public input is an integral part of the project development process. Any questions or comments about the Eastside Access 1 st /Central Project is welcomed! There will also be a series of community meetings about this project. These community meetings will provide the public opportunities for comment and questions and keep the public updated on project progress. Attendance to these meetings are open to all members of the public. Follow this page for meeting updates and details on upcoming meetings.

Upcoming Meetings

Past Meetings

  • Community Open House, Round 1
    Thursday, September 22, 2016, 5:30PM – 8:30PM
    Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, Garden Room
    244 S. San Pedro St.
    Los Angeles, CA 90012
  • Community Open House, Round 2
    Thursday, October 27, 2016, 5:30PM – 8:30PM
    Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, Garden Room
    244 S. San Pedro St.
    Los Angeles, CA 90012