Mixed Reviews on Crenshaw Corridor LRT Plan from Community Leaders
11:44 AM PST on November 10, 2009
In what can only be considered a win for County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Mark Ridley-Thomas the Metro staff is now recommending that light rail, not Bus Rapid Transit, be brought to the Crenshaw Corridor. Ridley-Thomas has been active behind the scenes and in front of the microphone pushing for adequate funding for light rail for his district.
However, just because a politician supports an idea doesn't mean it necessarily has the support of the communities he represents. For example, remember the vitriolic exchanges between Damien Goodmon and City Councilman, and former Ridley-Thomas opponent, Bernard Parks. So will Crenshaw run into similar opposition as Phase I of Expo? It depends who you ask. While some activists are thrilled to be getting light rail instead of "more buses," others question the proposed alignment.
At the Times' LA_Now blog, the Los Angeles Urban League gives the project a thumbs up:
"We do consider it a victory," said Trevor Ware, chief operating officer of the Los Angeles Urban League.
"Look at the transportation options that we have now. We have buses on Crenshaw and we see other neighborhoods that are developing other types of transportation options," Ware added.
"To have a decision made that we will have light rail - that's so much faster and will have so much more of an economic impact - we need that too," he said.
This morning, I exchanged emails with Goodmon, who seemed supportive of the numerous below-grade crossings and stations for the project but also vowed to push on for further below-grade construction:
We applaud the inclusion of options into the Base LRT design, specifically the below grade Hyde Park portion, and the continued study of the remaining options. Our current focus is on getting the EIR to study the remaining portion between 48th and 60th that is not currently being studied for below grade, so as to avoid future delay from a supplemental environmental process.
For a list of all the grade crossings, visit the agenda for next week's Planning Committee meeting and head to page 5.
Goodmon also noted that there are other areas that might concern the community. Namely that the staff's recommended contractor is not from South L.A., undercutting Ridley-Thomas' boast of 8,700 new jobs and that any at-grade alignment is against the stated position of the City of Los Angeles and the Crenshaw Corridor Specific Plan. The resolution was sponsored by local City Councilmembers Parks and Wesson. A full copy of Goodmon's statement is available after the jump.
We agree with MTA staff's recommendation of light rail over bus rapid transit, the inclusion of the below grade (underground) sections along some parts of Crenshaw, and the recommendation to continue study of underground options and stations elsewhere along the route.
More from Streetsblog Los Angeles
Eyes on the Street: North Hills Traffic Circle Under Construction
StreetsLA is building a new 60-foot-diameter traffic circle at the intersection of Parthenia Place and Columbus Avenue in the central San Fernando Valley community of North Hills. The project includes a short bikeway.
This Week In Livable Streets
Streetsblog celebrates our 15th birthday! Plus Metro meetings, Santa Monica bikeway ribbon-cutting, CD2 candidates, and a huge CicLAvia event.