Eric Richardson at BlogDowntown outlines the plans — and now, the opposition — to a transit connector in Little Tokyo. Says Richardson: “The project will connect the transit operator's light rail lines by building a link between the Blue Line at 7th / Metro and the Gold Line's Little Tokyo / Arts District station. At a meeting last week, vocal community members expressed their desire for that link to steer clear of their neighborhood.”
Little Tokyo has weathered numerous storms over the years, from the flight of its Japanese American residents, to crime at its fringes, to the Japanese consulate leaving the neighborhood. Now the concern will be on the effects of the proposed transit connector — not only the turmoil its construction could impose upon local businesses, but whether such a project could reshape the historic district's character. Perhaps ironically, meanwhile, the neighborhood's Annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival kicks off this weekend.