All Eyes Are on Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Critical MTA Crenshaw-LAX Subway Vote

At Thursday morning’s MTA meeting, the board members will vote on a motion by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas to underground the entirety of the Crenshaw Blvd portion of the Crenshaw-LAX Light Rail Line and return the Leimert Park Village station to the project. In addition to Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor Mike Antonovich openly supports the motion, and a third board member has expressed their support privately. With 7 votes needed for passage, all eyes are on L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who controls 4 votes on the 13-member MTA Board. The $1.7 billion light rail line is scheduled to begin construction in 2012.

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LA Times: Leimert Park Deserves Light Rail Station

For the first time in the LA Times coverage of this issue (or the Expo Line issue for that matter) columnist Hector Tobar tackles the systemic inequity in local transportation decision-making, and adds Leimert Park Village deserves a stop on the Crenshaw-LAX Line. The full article is below and credit for the image goes to Mel Melcon.

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Op-Ed: Rail Line Must Go Underground to Preserve, Protect Key Black L.A. Business Corridor

Our op-ed on the local and regional importance of preserving and enhancing Los Angeles’ last African-American business corridor by placing the rail line underground in Park Mesa Heights was picked up by the LA Wave, Our Weekly and CityWatch LA. The full op-ed in the LA Wave is below.

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$546 Million Federal Loan for the Crenshaw-LAX Rail Line Generates Cautious Optimism for the Crenshaw Community

Los Angeles, CA – Influential community groups, stakeholders and rail safety advocates are cautiously optimistic about news that MTA has secured a $546-million loan from the federal government to accelerate the construction of the $1.6 billion Crenshaw-LAX light rail line. Concerns are centered on the one-mile segment of the line on Crenshaw Blvd. currently planned at street-level across major intersections and near Crenshaw H.S. and View Park Prep, and the absence of a Leimert Park Village station.

“We welcome the additional rail transit investment along Crenshaw Blvd. But MTA should not repeat the mistakes of the Expo Line on the Crenshaw Line,” said Damien Goodmon, Coordinator of the Citizens’ Campaign to Fix the Expo Rail Line (“Fix Expo”).

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Preparing for 2010 on Crenshaw, Expo & Blue Lines

We ended 2009 on a great note, by filling the MTA board meeting to help secure passage of the Mark Ridley-Thomas motion to require staff study and identify a funding strategy to keep the entire Crenshaw Blvd portion of the Crenshaw Line underground. It is going take a sustained effort to get the MTA to do what they don’t like doing: using taxpayer resources in South L.A. And we of course must continue our fight in the courts and on the streets to get the Expo Authority to appropriate the dollars for a grade separated option next to Dorsey H.S. at Farmdale Ave.

Join us at our first community update and organizing meeting in the new decade.

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Motion to Study Crenshaw Blvd Subway APPROVED!

YES WE DID!

We came in busloads and caravans. We came in numbers so great that the MTA had to open up their overflow room. Hundreds of us descended upon the MTA board meeting and we walked away with a major battle victory: the MTA Board UNANIMOUSLY approved the Ridley-Thomas motion to study a full Crenshaw Blvd. subway. (LA Times article)

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Ridley-Thomas Offers Motion to Study a Full Crenshaw Blvd Subway

MTA Board Member and County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has delivered on the promise conveyed by his transportation deputy at our November 23rd meeting to offer a motion to amend the MTA staff recommendation regarding the design of the Crenshaw Line.

The Mark Ridley-Thomas Park Mesa Heights subway motion, would require the MTA staff to include in their study of the Crenshaw Line an underground segment from 48th to 59th Street. Currently staff has recommended that the section ONLY be studied for street-level operation. The motion, if approved, would require it be studied as underground as well.

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Open Letter to the Black Community … and Those with Concern for Our Survival

On Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 9:00 AM, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board of Directors will meet to approve the first major contract of a $2 billion dollar light rail project for Crenshaw Blvd., the heart of Los Angeles’ African-American community. Your presence at this Board meeting is vital to demand:

  1. That this engineering contract includes qualified African American businesses representative of the demographics of the community, who have a depth of experience and knowledge of the Crenshaw community.
  2. That this engineering contract includes residents of the Crenshaw community who will recycle their money into community.
  3. That future selection committees include community stakeholders to insure that our voice is represented in the decision making process.
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Getting Ready for the MTA Draft EIR Vote

Join us at a joint meeting of Fix Expo, Crenshaw Subway Coalition and the Joint Committee of South L.A. Neighborhood Councils on Rail Transit as we discuss the latest on the Farmdale Avenue crossing and the upcoming MTA board vote on the Crenshaw Line Draft Environmental Impact Report.

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