What Should Be Done with the Crenshaw Corridor

I’m going to be honest with you for a moment.  I haven’t been paying attention to the Crenshaw Corridor Transit Study in South L.A.  Maybe it’s that a preferred mode hasn’t been selected yet.  Maybe it’s that more controversial projects have grabbed my attention.  Maybe it’s that it’s mysterious.  Regardless all of that is going to change soon.

A press release from the office of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas announced that the Metro Board will vote in October on whether or not to go forward with a Bus Rapid Transit project for the corridor or an "underground light-rail."  The Crenshaw Corridor extends approximately 10 miles from Wilshire Boulevard on the north to El Segundo Boulevard on the south on Crenshaw Boulevard.  Measure R allocates $1.7 billion for whatever project the Board chooses. A history of the numerous studies done on the area can be found at Metro’s website.

Ridley-Thomas’ office hasn’t announced their preferred alternative, but instead is pushing for a process that allows the effected communities to choose.  However, when discussing the alternatives for the Corridor they don’t mention the "no-build" or "Transportation Demand Management" options.  Ridley-Thomas is kicking off the outreach, which will include public hearings in September and October, with a media availability later today.

Since I admitedly don’t have a lot of expertise in the area, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on what is the best transit option for the area.  Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section.

  • Or is advocating for multiple rail projects not allowed south of the 10 freeway?”



    Wow, that’s a real pretty straw dog you just set afire! Will there be fireworks too?

    Who said South LA couldn’t advocate for both of these worthy projects? Advocate away.

    “South of the 10-Fwy” already has the Blue Line and the Green Line, will have the Crenshaw Line, the Harbor Transitway will run south of the 10.

    Both the Crenshaw and Vermont projects are worthy. By all means advocate away.

  • Umm Dan, read the posts above by Matt and Masonite. South LA is only allowed one line. Some type of rationing went on that both you and I missed.

    By the way the Green Line is the bouquet of flowers CalTrans sent to the memorial service that followed the death of that almost entirely minority community. Tens of thousands of homes and displaced citizens seems to be a high price to pay for a transit line.

    As for the Blue Line it’s gone without the addition of grade separations despite by nearly 3-fold being the deadliest light rail line in America?

    And neither line has brought about the economic development promised by both…indeed the same can be said for I-10 freeway in South LA.

    Let’s make sure Metro gets the Crenshaw Line right. Their track record ain’t so great.

  • “Let’s make sure Metro gets the Crenshaw Line right.”


    On that we both agree.

    Both Crensaw and Vermont are worthy projects and I hope they will both eventually be constructed.

  • “And neither line has brought about the economic development promised by both”

    Is that the rail line’s fault or South LA’s fault?

  • It’s the fault of a lot of agencies, beginning with MTA.

  • I’ve asked before about the Blue Line’s inability to generate positive outcomes for South LA and Jerad Wright mentioned that the still active freight tracks might be blocking development opportunities in the area.

    Aren’t those tracks obsolete because of the Alameda Trench?

  • No they’re still active though no where near as much with the Alameda Corridor on-line. There are still several industrial factories along the ROW. And several other light rail/heavy rail lines that are directly adjacent to freight lines have been able to generate development despite similar levels of freight traffic.

    Problems are much larger than that.

  • Shrug. It has always seemed like the biggest problem hindering economic development in South LA has always been its reputation, whether perceived or real. Maybe these neighborhoods need a good PR campaign to spur people to visit!

    I don’t know. It just seems like you are pinning a lot of problems poor minorities face on rail lines, when it fact the problems are, as you said, much larger than that.

  • Matt

    On the costs ? I would use the Downtown Connector as a closer example since this will be built around the same time as Crenshaw about 6-8 years from now as opposed to the Eastside Gold which was tunneled out several years ago.

    It is really a moot point however, because what is on the table is the current LRT which has some at-grade running sections or BRT. The BRT actually has higher ridership projections, because it connects to the Purple Line, which the LRT does not. As I stated before there are many questions on this light-rail line including can it even be constructed without inciting a lawsuit or community opposition. Its ridership is now projected at less than 15k.

    Even if I am wrong and this line can be built for the $1.7B and we can secure enough Measure R funds for it and its ridership is way above its projections, it then has the potential to overwhelm the system, because Expo is a street-running line with limited capacity as Crenshaw would be, so I would still question this line being our main North-South line in this region. We need a line to connect to our high capacity subway system.

    As far as me wanting to limit rail for South LA, nothing could be further from the truth. I’m advocating a different line (Vermont) to be built first, which would be grade separated, faster, with higher capacity, with more development opportunities, and better connected to the region as a whole (especially if it is brought down to the Green Line). I also think the Harbor Sub can be a successful line for both LA County and the South LA region and support the development of that line.

    Overall, I’d love to have all 3 lines (like most who read this blog), but reality dictates that there are limited funds and some projects will be built before others. I said 10 years ago, the Purple Line should be pursued ahead of Expo. There weren’t many people advocating this then and there aren’t many with me now with Vermont, but I am not going to change my opinion. I think we are making a somewhat similar mistake with this as well, and I want to see the region develop a quality rail transit system as soon as possible that compares well to other great cities of the world.

  • cph

    Development along the Blue Line has been much slower than along, say the Gold Line in Pasadena, but it’s happening. Some new condos are going up near the Compton station, for example. (They’ve also torn down the old Compton Transit Center and are replacing it with something, but I’m not sure what…)

  • The Compton Station construction is a bit annoying. I have to go all the way around and I can’t go to Starbucks when I go there now owing to the construction. Though I did get a great fluffy story out of it.

    Though now I’m really confused at why people are STILL hanging out by the bus stop, because now I’m for sure they aren’t waiting for the bus…maybe its like the kids in Los Feliz hanging out in the parking lot of the supermaket by Coffee Bean, I never understood the point of that.



Metro Board Preview: Route 2 Terminus, Villaraigosa’s Ten Year Plan, Gates for the Gold Line and the Crenshaw Corridor DEIR

Coming soon to the Eastside. Photo:ntbraymer/Flickr This Thursday the Metro Board meets for the last time in 2009 in a special meeting this Thursday at 9:30 A.M. in Metro’s Headquarters next to Union Station.  As normal, there’s a full agenda, with plenty of controversial and interesting items on the agenda.  Some old friends, such as […]

Metro Moves Forward on Harbor Subdivision, Crenshaw Corridor, Hybrid Alternative for Route 2 Terminus and Gating for the Eastside Extension

Going north on Indiana on the way to First Street. Earlier today the Metro Board of Directors unanimously approved the light rail alternative for the Crenshaw Corridor and agreed to study making the light rail run underground for a dozen blocks between 48th and 59th street over the plans of the Metro staff. According to […]

Fearless Prediction: Lawsuits Coming on Crenshaw Line

The Source had barely published its story highlighting the Metro Board’s decision to approve the environmental certification of a Crenshaw Light Rail line that may or may not have a Leimert Park Station and definately runs at-grade through the Crenshaw communities’ top retail corridor when I caught up to Damien Goodmon, the head of the […]