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Revealed: 4 Concepts For Major Union Station Makeover

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Here they are: the first four potential plans for the huge overhaul of Union Station. Union Station Master Plan planners Gruen and Grimshaw have unveiled their draft alternatives for the long-term reconfiguration of the site, which will focus on the station's role as a regional transit hub, and specifically on improving the passenger concourse experience, consolidating bus activity, and incorporating a future high-speed rail line (although since that project is constantly on thin ice, all the plans will also work without an HSR component). Every plan includes preservation for the historic station, so don't worry about that. And more from The Source: thoughts include "replacing the parking lots in front of the station with open space, building a new bus terminal to handle most of the considerable bus traffic at the station and possibly replacing the current transit plaza at the rear of the station with other structures and/or green space." Every plan also features "improved pedestrian and bike pathways, including a bike lane through the site."

So what's different about the plans? Some of them turn the passenger concourse (in blue) on a southwest-northeast axis to better link the two sides of the site; some involve a consolidated bus terminal (in purple) on the northwestern end of the property, some on the east, adjacent to a tilted passenger concourse. And then there are four options for a high-speed rail link: one would have an elevated track in the center of the property; one would bury HSR under Alameda on the western end of the site; one would run it under Vignes on the eastern end; and one would elevate it above Vignes, which would require some kind of traffic calming or tunnel on the street.

Now these are just long-term proposals for the overall configuration of the Union Station site (they also mark out potential areas for new development, in red dots). The selected plan will probably take decades to implement and doesn't actually include any building design. Metro bought the property and about 40 surrounding acres in 2011; the Master Plan process (which has involved and will continue to involve lots of public input) will last through spring 2014, when the Metro Board of Directors picks its preferred plan.

Metro will also be presenting all of the alternatives at a community meeting tomorrow at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo.
· Draft alternatives released for Los Angeles Union Station Master Plan [The Source]
· Union Station Master Plan Archives [Curbed LA]

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