Dear Santa, Please Bring Us an Active Transportation Corridor Along Slauson. But Don’t Forget the Community in the Process.

The Slauson corridor that runs through South L.A. is not as empty as we imagine. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog
The Slauson corridor that runs through South L.A. is nowhere near as empty as people passing through might imagine. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog

If you’ve ever driven or ridden the bus along Slauson Ave., you are familiar with how much of a wasteland the corridor appears to be.

Flanked by industry or warehouses on either side for much of its trajectory, and running parallel to defunct and unkempt railroad tracks that are liberally adorned with debris, graffiti, and enormous mud puddles when it rains, it doesn’t seem like the most human-friendly place.

And, if you’ve ever felt reckless enough to ride the street on your bike, you would probably attest to that observation. There is no shoulder, traffic moves fast, regardless of the time of day, and on the north side (along the tracks), the road can be rough on your tires and quite dark at night.

Empty and desolate as it may appear to be, however, Slauson actually slashes its way through a series of neighborhoods that are chock full of families. You just don’t see much evidence of them thanks to the 30,000+ cars, buses, and trucks that rumble through there daily, lack of mid-block crossings and other pedestrian infrastructure, poor lighting, graffiti, and general filthiness of the corridor. The unhealthy and unsafe conditions serve as yet one more strike against community cohesiveness by discouraging residents from being out and about in their neighborhoods.

The bike and pedestrian paths would run along the Harbor Subdivision tracks, starting just north of Vernon, at Washington, heading south parallel to Santa Fe, heading west at Slauson, and taking a turn southward near Western. It would end at the Crenshaw Line stop at Florence. (map taken from 2008 Harbor Division study)
The bike and pedestrian paths would run along the Harbor Subdivision tracks (in black), starting at Washington, heading south parallel to Santa Fe, turning west at Slauson, and taking a turn southward near Western. They would end at the Crenshaw Line stop at Florence (map taken from 2008 Harbor Subivision study).

So, it is incredibly exciting to know that plans are slowly moving forward on the proposal of County Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Gloria Molina to convert the 8.3 mile corridor between Huntington Park and Crenshaw into an active transportation corridor.

Not just because transforming the right-of-way along the tracks into bike and pedestrian paths would make passage safer for the thousands of people who want to connect to transit in the area (i.e. the Vermont/Slauson stops see more than 3700 boardings per day).

But because, if built with the surrounding community in mind, it could be a tremendous boon to those who must traverse the corridor on a regular basis and who have few safe and welcoming recreational spaces available to them.

With those aspirations in mind, I attended the first public briefing announcing Metro’s feasibility study for the project last Thursday.

I came away with somewhat mixed feelings.

As of now, the focus seems to be on creating bike and pedestrian paths for people passing through the area who are looking to make transit connections or traverse some distance to get to specific destinations. It doesn’t mean locals couldn’t use the space, of course, but it isn’t currently being conceptualized as a place where they might be able to gather to relax.

The tracks at Crenshaw last winter. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog
Trains haven’t used the tracks in a while. This was the scene at Crenshaw last winter. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog

There are a few reasons for that.

Because the space along the corridor is a Metro-owned right-of-way and funding would likely come from Metro, a representative explained to me, the project would have to tie back to transportation.

Exercise equipment or more recreational-type amenities along the right of way — things that community would love to have — would fall outside of that mandate.

And, there isn’t a ton of space available to be converted.

Metro can’t yank up the tracks or pave over them if there is the possibility that they might be used for train transport at some point in the future. And, despite the fact that the tracks haven’t been used in years, it wasn’t all that long ago that Metro was considering using them to connect LA with the South Bay.

Which means that project planners must work around the tracks to find the most effective way to help facilitate the non-motorized movement of people within a long but rather narrow space (for more on the original proposal for the feasibility study, click here).

While I fully understand these constraints, part of the feasibility of a project like this involves demand modeling for bikes and peds. And, in my mind, at least, building an active transportation corridor and getting people to use it are often two very separate things.

Anyone who has followed our coverage of South L.A. knows that the Field of Dreams approach — build it and they will come — does not always work that well there. All the bike lanes or pedestrian-friendly infrastructure in the world won’t convince people — especially youth or the parents of younger kids — that it is safe to walk or ride if they believe that they or their kids are likely to be hassled, have their bikes jacked, or worse.

It doesn’t mean that the neighborhoods of the area are terrible, unsafe places. On the contrary, the people I know in the area are incredibly warm and welcoming.

But the prevalence of gang activity in many of the neighborhoods along the corridor has impacted people’s perceptions of safety and, consequently, their mobility habits. Residents do not feel able to see their streets as potential sites of recreation. Several have told me they get on buses and travel to other neighborhoods just to walk in a park because strolling around their own neighborhood doesn’t strike them as a viable option.

Understanding how perceptions of safety constrain mobility and finding ways to mitigate those concerns through programming, partnerships, and amenities will help make the corridor more inviting to the community.

The safer everyone feels, the more people from the community will be drawn to the paths. The more actively the community embraces the paths, the stronger and healthier they will be, the safer they and people passing through will be, and the more successful the project will be.

Win-win, right?

The vendors near Avalon have been at that site nearly every weekend for the past three years. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog
The vendors near Avalon have been at that site nearly every weekend for the past eight years. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog

Accommodating the community might not be as hard or complicated as it sounds.

One way to draw them in might entail creating space for vendors in some of the wider stretches of the corridor, at intersections (which sometimes have more space), vacant lots, or straddling the tracks (if some temporary and non-destructive covering could be created where they could set up).

The vendors set up between Central and Broadway that I have spoken with have all been at their sites every weekend for years. Most live just up the street from Slauson, are family-run operations, and have built up a regular base of clientele comprised of local families and people passing through the area on business.

A man who sells vacuum cleaners and miscellaneous household repair items said he had moved between his regular spot on Main St. and Normandie a few times, but he had been along Slauson for a total of thirty years.

Eyeing up the graffiti from a set of the Rollin’ 50s on the wall beside him, I asked if he’d ever had any trouble with gangs or been asked to pay taxes to them.

No, he laughed (in Spanish). They leave me alone. And when they’ve tried to get payment, I’ve told them ‘no.’ I have a license to vend. The only people I pay taxes to are the federal government.

Daniel has worked at a stand along Slauson for three years. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog
Daniel (at right) has worked at a stand along Slauson for three years. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog

Another young man who had taken over the stand while his uncle napped had been working along Slauson for three years.

My conversation with him was the first he’d heard of the project, and he was concerned that that meant that the vendors were likely to be unceremoniously pushed out.

At the same time, he sounded super-excited thinking about the potential transformation of the space. He had gone to Augustus Hawkins High School, at 60th and Hoover (just south of Slauson), and he said students there were hungry for ways to get involved in community projects and help make their neighborhoods better places.

He couldn’t wait to tell them about it, he said.

Then he looked at me for affirmation that they would be included in the project.

“I think it would be great if they were involved…” I said, unable to promise more.

Which brings me to a second suggestion.

It would indeed be fantastic if Metro and planners were able to engage students and their families on envisioning the possibilities for a transformed corridor. It wouldn’t be easy, given that there are as many as 20 schools to be found on either side of the tracks between Central and Crenshaw. But it isn’t impossible, either.

The LACBC and TRUST South L.A., for example, are already running an Active Streets program in the area and working with school administrators and parents to organize around issues of livable streets in the community. At their most recent event at Budlong Elementary (a few blocks south of Slauson), parents spoke of how thrilled they were to have an opportunity to safely exercise with their kids and other families. It clearly wasn’t something the parents felt they could do on their own. But, given the opportunity to do it as part of an organized group, they jumped at the chance and some requested that more such events be planned.

Cobbling together an advisory committee of youth representatives from the various schools and engaging them on ways to play a supporting role in the project — mapping safe routes to school, creating public art for the stretch or trail near their respective schools, brainstorming programming for how the space can be used (nature walks for families, group bike rides, or walking school buses), or getting their perspective on what would make them feel like the paths were safe enough for them to use — could be beneficial to all involved. Not only would it help students and parents feel that the project was intended to benefit them, it might give them a sense of ownership over it, thereby giving them a greater stake in ensuring it is a safe place for all to enjoy.

A woman picks up trash along 58th St., one block north of Slauson. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog
A woman picks up trash along 58th St., one block north of Slauson. While gang violence is quite localized, gang activity is a constraint on people’s mobility and their perceptions of safety. Programs like the one St. John’s runs with its diabetes patients (below) help change neighborhood dynamics. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog

The two major health centers that are found along Slauson — St. John’s (at 58th and Hoover) and Hubert H. Humphrey (at Main and Slauson) — may also be potential resources.

A diabetes class I’ve been following at St. John’s, for example, gets their exercise picking up trash and watering the garden boxes the clinic installed in the parkways along 58th St. In the process, the patients have gotten to know the neighbors they need to borrow water from for the plants. This has helped to build community in an area where neighbors can be wary of each other. And, it also has also helped nourish a community that has limited access to fresh food, as anyone is free to take the produce.

Working with health professionals to create space for similar garden programs, the installation of fitness equipment, a farmer’s market/produce stand, or other health-focused activities along the path could benefit the patients lacking park access and healthy food options while ensuring a more regular presence of stakeholders.

There's even someone who cares about Fido. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog
There’s even someone who cares about Fido. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog

To their credit, the Metro representatives I spoke with at the briefing were kind enough to listen to me sputter on and on about the importance of involving the community in the project.

They reminded me that this was just the beginning of the process — at present, they were just trying to determine the extent to which the project was feasible. There were no funds for the project as yet and funds for the kinds of things I was looking for would likely have to come through partnerships.

All of which makes sense.

But I think, too, that if you don’t begin with a better understanding of the host community and its needs from the outset, the project will suffer for it down the road. And, things that might not be seen as active transportation elements per se (i.e. exercise equipment) may be essential in preparing or encouraging people to attempt to make more of their connections by walking or biking.

Plus, it’s the right thing to do. The area, like much of South L.A., is intensely park-poor and was once a neglected black enclave, as racially restrictive covenants kept blacks from being able to own property outside of the Main-Slauson-Alameda-Washington box. It hasn’t really seen a whole lot of investment since. It’s about time that changed.

Best of all, exploring the potential of local partnerships and planning accommodations for the community now will help make the corridor safer and more welcoming for all users in the long run. And that kind of sounds like a key component of feasibility to me.

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The tracks at Crenshaw, looking east. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog
  • Nicole Vick

    Well written! Thanks for keeping us in the loop!

  • sahra

    Thanks, Nicole! I have really high hopes for this project!

  • Guest

    This extremely important corridor (connection between LAX, Union Station, Blue, Green, and Crenshaw lines) should be preserved for transit, the purpose for which it was purchased. If additional space is available, I say carefully build away with community input and of course, include active transit.

    Yes, it is a lovely idea but nothing should be built that constrains the purpose of the original acquisition, as transit. I can already hear people screaming at Metro about claims of racism or that Metro will injure and kill hundreds of children children later when a train might go near any new park or green space… Build something beautiful and amazing but build carefully or we will end up wasting money on years long lawsuits or community extortion groups or the unneeded Expo Farmdale Station.

  • Jake Wegmann

    A few months ago I visited South Gate Park and was blown away by the number of people using it on a typical warm evening. People were using playgrounds, playing baseball, soccer, roller hockey, softball, basketball, you name it. So many people were using the sidewalks on the perimeter of the park as a jogging track that they were running up to four abreast, and I had a tough time even finding a place to stand as a result.

    I don’t know that I’ve ever seen such a crowded urban park on a normal, non-special event night anywhere in the US (and I’ve spent plenty of time in New York). South Gate Park is a few miles away from this area Sahra is discussing, but it speaks volumes about the unmet need for safe, usable open space in South/Southeast LA. Clearly people in the area will take full advantage of fitness and open space opportunities IF there is a place that is conveniently located, meets their needs and feels safe, like Sahra points out.

    I really, really hope that planners can find a way to get community buy-in and then figure out a way to make this work as both a transportation corridor and open space, like she suggests.

    How many opportunities are there to really change the physical environment for the better in that part of town to benefit families? Probably not that many, certainly not like this one.

  • Roger Rudick

    Great story. I considered going to this meeting myself but the whole history of the Harbor Sub just gets me down. More than 20 years ago, they had clearances to run a few commuter trains on this line from Union Station all the way to San Pedro. Instead, Metro let the Redondo Junction connection get blown up by the Alameda Corridor and they started the usual study-after-study for this line. I don’t think many advocates truly understand how inexpensive it is to refurbish an existing rail line (rather than converting it to an another mode). For less than we’ve spent studying this line, we could have been running a few peak, rush-hour trains on it all this time. This was a complete, 30-mile line (longer than many existing commuter lines). At this point, we should have been talking about upgrades, additional stations, TODs, double tracking, grade-crossing eliminations, beautification, the addition of a bike path along the line, electrification…instead, it’s been made into a derelict and we’re starting from scratch.

  • Guest

    Very accurate description. This is such a missed opportunity for greater connectivity. The ROW and much of the infrastructure is just sitting there rusting away. Could you imaging a rapid one seat ride from San Pedro, LAX, or South LA to Union Station? I still don’t understand why this or the Glendale/Burbank/Burbank Airport LRT just died? Both are well studied and viable but just faded.

  • michael macdonald

    Yeah, but right now the unused derelict tracks are a blight on all the communities that face them. This is a feasibility study to do something with the land in the interim, one that — as I understand it — maintains the tracks for a potential future transit use. How far away is any chance of a transit project on this right of way? 20+ years? Are we really telling children that are born today in South L.A, Florence-Firestone, Inglewood, and Huntington Park that they need to spend their entire childhood with this blight to protect a yet-unplanned long-term goal for transit that they may never even benefit from?

  • Guest

    Are we ” telling CHILDREN that are born today in South L.A,
    Florence-Firestone, Inglewood, and Huntington Park that they need to
    spend their entire childhood” without the chance to access real reliable rail transportation options that connect them QUICKLY to opportunities, education, and jobs?

    This is hardly unplanned BTW… plenty on Metro.net. ROWs should be preserved because once they are gone they are gone. My point was that interm uses turn permanent and then something important is lost so plan carefully prevent the dysfunction that takes over Metro projects by not being forward thinking. I didn’t say current condition was great or nothing else should be permitted. It is big picture and not all or nothing. Reread what I wrote.

  • michael macdonald

    If you are aware of a plan to reinstate rail service on this right of way in the near future, please let me know what it is. There was no mention of a plan in the works for transit on Slauson/Hyde Park/Florence at last week’s meeting (which I attended). There was clear communication that the plan was to make temporary use of the right of way to reinvigorate a community by removing blight. I don’t think anybody in the room was against that concept – we all welcomed it.

  • Guest

    I, nor anyone else, said there was impending planned rail service…did I? Rail lines are always 10 to 15 year timeline endeavors. It is the same situation as the Expo Line. One day not active and with the delay of the Purple Line because of Beverly Hills NIMBYs, it moved up on the opportunity priority list and got built. Very few on Expo Corridor lament having reliable access to transit rapid transit now.

    This corridor was purchased for transportation uses by Metro, a transportation agency. The study area (Downtown to LAX) may be the NUMBER ONE, YES NUMBER ONE, TRIP GENERATOR of the entire 13 million person region… The region is larger than 43 states. (Biggest trip generator in the entire continent?) This is big picture to be aware of. Yes, maybe significantly reduce auto trips and associated air pollution while reducing chronic diseases for children and adults. (I live in “710 freeway bad air” area btw)

    As mentioned, and I agree, no one is against this… or revitalizing many of the blighted parcels in the area but PLAN CAREFULLY… You may not be aware but Metro has a bad history of get unsnarled in politics especially with county supervisors (the project proponent). That’s all. A big picture maybe you don’t see. Not looking to intentionally harm children for their younger years with blight as you posit.

  • sahra

    I’m not surprised to hear that… it’s one of the few parks in the entire community. Ted Watkins park in Watts gets similarly packed in the summer, which is amazing to see, both because of the power of parks and because, as you say, it hints at how hungry people are for those kind of spaces. The case of Ted Watkins is one that illustrates just how much the amenities matter — it used to be a much uglier and more contested space. The make-over it got a few years ago that added exercise equipment and new recreational facilities and programs made it an entirely new place. The fact that everyone from families to gym-rat type guys that use the equipment to work out with friends are drawn by the amenities helps make it safer, more accessible, and turns ownership back over to the public. I know they can’t replicate that along the right-of-way, but there are pockets of space that can and should be exploited.

  • sahra

    As Michael has noted, Metro has made it clear that nothing can be done to disrupt the potential for the right-of-way to once again play host to trains. That is the reason that a feasibility study needs to be conducted in the first place — they are working with a technical advisory committee to ensure that converting the usable space would not impede any future rail plans. I linked to the proposal and assessment that describes their process and why other sections of the right-of-way are not viable hosts for a bike path in the piece.

    If you’re truly concerned that they’re doing it wrong, you’re welcome to contact them. Alice Tolar is the project manager and can be reached at tolara(at)metro.net

  • Guest

    Thanks for the contact info. Yes, the local and big picture should be concerned and vigilant. This community has gotten the short stick and parks are great but how about a real rail line, active transportation, and parks? The vacillation by Metro between appeasement of politicians with short-term projects (to claim) and the real big-picture transportation planning has lead to some pretty serious unintended blunders and missteps.

    It is the Machiavellian nature of LA politics but considerate caution to any political initiatives and application of standard planning principles/study should not necessarily be interpreted as opposition. We can have the optimum not the minimum.

  • Guest

    Not exactly in the same area but, an excellent example of what could be, is Augustus F. Hawkins Park on Slauson near Alameda. It is a gem and shows there is huge unmet demand for park space. Creative think could fit many of the elements along the corridor.

  • calwatch

    They have been studied. The Harbor Subdivision Alternatives Analysis (posted on the Metro web site) shows it faring very poorly on a cost basis. “A rapid one seat ride” from LAX to Union Station sounds like the SEPTA Airport Line, with its pitiful ridership of 7,000 a day, or about 100 a train – not much better than a bus. The utility of a line along the Harbor Subdivision, particularly along Slauson, is pretty low since there aren’t major focal points along it to make stops – yet there is enough cross traffic so major intersections like Western, Vermont, and Broadway would likely have to be grade separated.

  • calwatch

    Rights of way are being preserved, but that doesn’t stop the installation of temporary facilities such as bike lanes and landscaping. Good examples of preserved pathways include the Orange Line right of way east of North Hollywood and the Whittier Greenway. http://www.cityofwhittier.org/depts/prcs/parks/greenway_trail.asp There are opportunities to have the high quality landscaping in Whittier, combined with “gathering points” for informal businesses to set up, gardens, and reconnecting some of the streets that dead end at the Harbor Sub right of way to continue through for pedestrian access.

    http://www.cityofwhittier.org/depts/prcs/parks/greenway_trail.asp

  • Guest 2

    Hi Calwatch.

    No, actually, they haven’t been studied. The AA you’re referring to studied an LAX Express (or very limited stop service) in isolation–something I’m not advocating for and I don’t think anyone ever did. What we used to advocate for was a ramping-up strategy–where you use the clearances you have and run a few peak-only commuter trains from San Pedro to LAUS. That didn’t require an EIR and could have been done for a fraction of what Metro pays for other lines. We’d have started service a long time ago, had we done that. Right now the Harbor Sub has zero ridership–this would have had thousands more people on transit for very little cost. But that’s a starting point, not an end point. It’s a process towards expanding the line, grade sepping, etc., until you are running trains from all over MetroLink and Amtrak’s network into a throat on the Harbor SD, creating a second Union Station outside LAX (Manchester Square is a perfect location) that has airport connection, LRT connections to the Green and future Crenshaw Line, and train connections to all over the region from San Pedro to Union Station downtown to Palmdale to Irvine. And I’m sorry, you simply can’t do that anymore if you convert five miles of the line to LRT.

    All of this could have been done with gradual upgrades to this precious asset Metro inherited. But this required real vision and forward thinking. Instead, Metro simply did a “throw away” option in their Harbor study. Of course a train that only stops at LAX to LAUS is going to carry fewer people if that’s as far as you look at it. But an LAX Express was supposed to be just one service to eventually run on a greatly expanded throat line. The Victoria Express in London is just one example of a train like this–it shares tracks with tons of commuter services. So does the Narita Express (despite the misinformation I saw on a previous threat).

    Anyway, chopping up the Harbor Subdivision is the death of that vision.

    Now, with all due respect, your comparison to the SEPTA airport line isn’t valid. The Picadilly Line in London goes from Kings Cross Station to Heathrow and it carries more people than the entire LA transit system. Is either one a fair comparison? No. That said, Philadelphia is much smaller than LA and, even so, that one SEPTA line does better than MetroLink (if you divide ridership by the number of lines, etc). That one SEPTA line also carries more people than the entire Pacific Surfliner service. You can always find a line, pull it out, and make a weak comparison based on ridership alone to “prove” your point. That’s a favorite tactic of the Reason Foundation. But transit planning is more complex than that. You have to consider passenger miles, opportunity costs, etc…to what extent are you closing off future expansion possibilities? How does one line increase ridership on others?

    Anyway, I’m not against the Crenshaw Line. My only bone is it should have been built alongside or over the ROW for those precious five miles… not on it (as, indeed, the Green Line was going south from LAX). I’m also not against building a parkway on the remainder of the ROW now, since Metro has already messed this up. I just wish we had a system for looking at the big, regional, long term picture, instead of everything getting dictated solely by the short-term needs of single political districts.

  • andrelot

    The rail ROW is rather narrow there. Double tracking it would already require some space to be taken from the adjoining road. There is just not enough space to build all these facilities while also building a future good light rail line over there.

  • So did the advocates for this do outreach, build support? Does anyone along the right of way even KNOW about the vision you spend long paragraphs extolling? When I heard about the meeting I wanted to make John Ulloth and James Washington aware of it, as they both are advocates for what you outline. But had no way to reach them (phone or e-mail). There was an attempt to promote Metrolink service along the Burbank/Chandler alignment. Opposition by some stakeholders killed it. Now it is the Orange Line. “big, regional, long term picture” is SCAG, which has no teeth and the politicians and other big shots prefer it that way. Plus you like your idea but unless you have a mass movement and community buy-in your chance to getting very far is nil. Sorry, but these things require heavy lifting beyond scribbled on the back of an envelope grand visions. Calwatch has complained I am too fast at being blunt about things I don’t see as viable. Well, it is just my opinion I am offering. Ignore it if you want. I am just hoping someone reading this may find it educational for advocating some issue they are equally as passionate about.

  • calwatch

    Actually, the Harbor Subdivision AA DID include a LRT option. It was called “Local North”, with a regional stop option and a express option. ALL of them along the Slauson corridor did poorly.
    The one that did best is the one that Metro is moving forward, which is the Green Line extension to the South Bay Galleria and ultimately to Torrance.
    http://media.metro.net/projects_studies/harbor_subdivision/images/AA_study/07-Cost%20Effectiveness.pdf

    As far as an incremental option of a few trains a day initially, what advocates fail to realize is that the Harbor Subdivision tracks are Class 2 tracks – with a maximum passenger operating speed at 30 mph, and many locations at 20 mph or below. It is 13 miles from Redondo Junction to Century Boulevard. That’s 26 minutes assuming no stops and full speed at 30 mph, plus the time from Redondo Junction to Union Station (about 10 minutes) – 36 minutes and you are already taking longer than the Flyaway, and you’re still a mile and a half from the nearest terminal. Let’s say 55 minutes including transfer time to the shuttle at the LAX end. If you want to increase these speeds, you will need to rip up track, put in new ballast, and new ties – not cost effective for a few trains a day. Do you really think “thousands” of people want to take a train that is slower than they could drive, while they creep at 10 mph through “slow order” sections with local buses passing them? http://thetransitcoalition.us/LargePDFfiles/HarborSubdivision.pdf

    Now, I’ve ridden “express” trains that travel at 25-30 mph – an example would be the Evanston Express on the CTA Purple Line in Chicago. With the El, you are traveling between buildings so you don’t perceive how slowly you are moving. But it is still very annoying. When Slauson Avenue’s average speed is 35 mph, even when traffic signals are included, you can pretty quickly perceive how slow the train is.

    Dana may hate how the Metro Gold Line extension supporters are going to get their extension to Montclair before the subway gets to the sea, and to Ontario Airport before other, arguably more deserving lines like a Red Line extension to Burbank Airport, but that is a testament to how organized communities can get rail projects through. From a regional basis, LAX is a major draw, but your proposed peak hour service is not going to work for LAX which has more of an all day demand. (Such a peak service would be the same failure that Metra’s North Central Line service to O’Hare is – at last count, 106 boardings a day.)

    The Harbor Subdivision people have failed to organize the community near the corridor at all – indeed, there is more opposition to that service than support. Such demand for passenger service on the Harbor Subdivision seems to be driven by rail advocates who live far outside the area and might ride it to the airport a few times a year. As Sahra notes, the pedestrian/bike project will benefit much more people in the immediate vicinity through added green space and a safer active transportation path. This is why these complaints that it should have been a passenger railroad ring hollow to me and a lot of people who have studied this issue.

  • Guest2

    Calwatch…if you studied it so well, why do you keep the strawmen coming? I count five above. If you just want to refute arguments nobody’s making, knock yourself out.

    Also, I think you’re wrong to advocate for a busway on the Harbor Subdivision. That’s really not the way to go. Studies have shown it. Really.

  • Anonymous Coward

    Nerd Fight! Nerd Fight

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

A map of the Rail-to-River bike and pedestrian path planned for the Slauson corridor in South and Southeast Los Angeles. Source: Metro

Rail-to-River Route Through Huntington Park, Bell Emerges as Best Candidate; Community Meeting December 8

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Spoiler alert: of the four options Metro is considering, the Randolph Street option (B4) has ranked the highest. Not only would it help connect residents to more schools and other important community destinations, it would be able to provide residents with the safest way to reach those destinations. Best of all, it would add over four miles to the bike/pedestrian path and connect users to the river and the existing bike path there.