The long-awaited decision on whether a train station for LeimertPark will be included in the new Crenshaw-to-LAX light rail line could be announced as early as May 3.
The bids for the Crenshaw-to-LAX line are in and have been reviewed and on May 3, Metro staff is scheduled to make a recommendation to the MTA board on which bid to accept – a non-binding, but early “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” for the station. The recommendation, which will be carefully watched by residents, transportation advocates and elected officials throughout the county, will precede a vote by the full Metro board May 23.
Two years ago, despite overwhelming support for a station from a broad coalition of business owners, neighborhood groups, the church community and residents, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board voted to build one only if it could fit within the existing $1.7 billion-budget allocated for the project, leaving the station’s future in question.
That decision was widely criticized by many, including every elected official representing the Crenshaw community – city council members and members of the state legislature and of the U.S. Congress – who all joined in an unprecedented show of unity to call for the stop in LeimertParkVillage. It also deeply disappointed hundreds of residents who packed the Metro Board hearing room and thousands who petitioned the board, calling for a stop in what is the heart of the African-American community and increasingly, an important residential and business center for Latinos.
“I am still very hopeful that we will have a station built at LeimertParkVillage,” said Ridley-Thomas. “This is an endurance race, not a sprint and we will continue to work for a station until it becomes a reality.”
The Crenshaw community, he added, is not seeking special treatment.
“We have seen how the presence of a train station in neighborhoods throughout the county confers economic benefits on the surrounding community — enhancing tourism, bolstering businesses and turning mere locales, into destinations,” he said.
Once built, the new Crenshaw-to-LAX line not only will take travelers to the airport, it will transport workers employed by restaurants, hotels, rental car fleets and other airport-related industries, to their jobs. And lastly, a station in the village would connect the region to the city’s African American cultural center, as do the stations in Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Culver City and MariachiPlaza.
“LeimertPark is an iconic neighborhood in Los Angeles,” said Ridley-Thomas. “And it deserves to be treated on par with our county’s other great cultural landmarks.”
Please click on the link below to view a timeline of the Crenshaw-to-LAX light rail line.