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Eyes on the Path: Metro Posts First Look at Slauson Corridor Bike/Walk Path Ahead of Tonight’s Construction Update

Metro posted several views of the under-construction Rail-to-Rail path ahead of its 5/17 construction update meeting. Here, a freshly poured sidewalk is seen heading toward 11th Ave. Source: Metro

Tonight, Metro will host a construction update on the 5.5-mile Rail-to-Rail walk/bike path that will run along the neglected Slauson corridor right-of-way (ROW) between the Fairview Heights and Slauson Metro rail stations. The agency has posted a number of photos touting the work being done on the path ahead of the 6 p.m. meeting (join in via Zoom).

Tangible progress has been a long time coming.

The "Rail-to-River"project was first proposed in 2012 by then-Metro boardmembers Mark Ridley-Thomas and the late Gloria Molina with the goal of converting a blighted ROW into a community asset. They believed a nearly 10-mile-long "green ribbon" could be transformative in such an intensely park-poor section of South Central and Southeast Los Angeles.

The full Rail-to-River project will run approximately 10 miles across South and Southeast L.A. Segment A, currently under construction, runs along the Slauson corridor before heading southwest at Western and paralleling Hyde Park Boulevard. Segment B will run along the length of Randolph to the river. Source: Metro

Metro had originally expected to break ground on the western segment back in 2018. After a number of delays, the project quietly broke ground last July. Construction began in October, at 67th St. and 11th Ave. [The Southeast segment that runs from the Blue Line to the river will be constructed separately; it is still in the planning stages.]

The dedicated bike/walk path (where users are safely separated from motor vehicles) will feature shade trees, drought-tolerant landscaping, lighting, improvements at bus stops, and improved crossings at intersections.

Renderings of the future of the Slauson corridor show shade trees, improved lighting, and safer crossings. Source: Metro
Renderings of the future of the Slauson corridor show shade trees, improved lighting, and safer crossings. Source: Metro

The images Metro posted to Instagram show the progress being made on the western end of the project after the old tracks were ripped out.

The shot below is of an under-construction "mixing zone," where the pedestrian and bike paths converge as the route approaches an intersection (as seen in the rendering above). The cement path that extends from it is the sidewalk; the bike path alongside it will be wider and made of asphalt.

Source: Metro (Images are cut/pasted because Wordpress doesn't support IG posts well. Find the original IG post here or click on image.)

The approach to a mixing zone/intersection in Hyde Park via a freshly poured sidewalk.

Source: Metro

The Hyde Park section of the path cuts through a mix of residential and industrial zones. The image below is of where it will cross 4th Ave.

Residents will be able to access the path via a number of entry points along the route, both for ease of use and for safety. And because the path is sometimes cut off from street view in this section, Metro plans to add additional security lighting and emergency phones.

Source: Metro

Here the sidewalk heads toward 4th Ave from Van Ness.

Source: Metro

Per Metro's post, the project seeks to provide safe passage for the "nearly 4,300 pedestrians and 2,500 cyclists [who] use the corridor each day." Completion is expected in 2024.

Learn more about the project from Streetsblog's reporting (below), Metro's project page, here, or join in the meeting tonight to get an overview and construction progress update at 6 p.m. via Zoom.

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