Downtown News: The Arts District Needs a Metro Station

I was disappointed to read in Los Angeles Downtown News that it would take a “financial miracle” to build a Metro station in the Arts District (“Metro CEO Says No Arts District Rail Station Without ‘Manna From Heaven,’” Nov. 20). This is a rapidly growing neighborhood that is poorly served by transit options. 

Metro is currently planning its Division 20 Portal Widening and Turnback Facility project along the Los Angeles River, and this is the time for the agency to examine funding options and plan for an Arts District station. The existing tracks and space at Division 20 should not be used just as a rail yard; it needs to include a station for people.

Thousands of new homes, businesses and jobs are coming to the Arts District, and the neighborhood has transformed into a bustling culinary destination. It will become even more vibrant when the investments made in the Sixth Street Bridge, PARC and the L.A. River are complete. As Downtown prepares to add 125,000 more residents by 2040, it is critical that we find ways to support this growth by improving mobility.

Last November, voters approved Measure M to generate $860 million a year to fund transportation and mobility projects across the region. We are excited to see this funding pay for much-needed sidewalk improvements, bike lanes and crosswalks in the Arts District, but it should also help fund a Metro stop that will connect the neighborhood with the rest of the region. We should also assess the feasibility of tax-increment financing or public-private partnerships to fund this important station. 

It’s time to have a vision for an accessible Arts District that reflects the community’s future growth, and to find creative ways to fund a station that will benefit all of Los Angeles. Let’s make this neighborhood a dynamic, walkable place that is welcoming to our city’s residents and tourists.

See the letter here.