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MetroRail is Coming to LAX and the Westside - Time to Focus on Station Design
Ken Alpern | City Watch

 

Map of winning projects selected by USDOT beginning in February 2010 to receive funding from the TIGER grant program. Click a pin to find out more about the project. Information and project descriptions provided in part by the USDOT, some alterations of descriptions and information by Transportation for America. Find out more from T4 America at http://t4america.org/resources/tigermap

After talking, listening, debating and arguing about how best to get the expanding MetroRail system to LAX, the Westside and South Bay, we're now budgeted and en route to building a north-south light rail line to connect the east-west Crenshaw and Green Lines, as well as a tentative LAX People Mover connection to the airport central terminals.  And with the Mid-City heartily weighing in on theirown segment of the light rail line, it's time for the Westside, LAX and South Bay to weigh in as well. 

 

This Thursday night, on September 18th between 7:15 - 9:00 pm, in the second floor auditorium (Room 200) the West LA Muncipal Building (near the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd. and Corinth Ave.), the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee (co-chaired by yours truly and fellow CityWatch contributor Matthew Hetz) will offer Westchester, Westside and other residents the opportunity to weigh in on the future local stations to benefit their communities. 

 

Metro representative JC Lacey will provide a station-by-station update and overview of the future Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail Line, and will provide maps, discuss grade separations, connectivity of the line with bus routes, address native tree or other plantings, station-adjacent developments and any unresolved or ongoing issues. 

 

A station that is often underaddressed is the future station in the southeast corner of Westchester at Hindry Avenue, and which is meant to provide a portal for Westchester and much of the Westside (including adjacent Inglewood and any I-405 commuters) access to the light rail line and the greater Metro Rail system.  The upside potential of this station with respect to local redevelopment is great, but there is deserved fear of local overdevelopement or inappropriate development. 

Hence the following motion to be discussed: 

 

MOTION—Planning and Zoning Efforts for Transit-Oriented Region Along Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail Line between Manchester Blvd. and Los Angeles/Inglewood City Border

 

The CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee favors a joint task force between the Westchester-Playa Del Rey NC, local Westchester homeowner and neighborhood associations, and the CD11 office to arrive at a specific transit-oriented tract plan that encourages sufficient commercial revitalization, parking and transportation improvements, adjacent residential-zoned neighborhood preservation, open space, park development and infrastructure improvements to the area surrounding the future Hindry Ave. Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail Station, between Manchester/Aviation and the Inglewood/Los Angeles city border. 

 

Concerns have also been rightfully raised as to the Century/Aviation station which is already in its earliest phases of construction, because pedestrian access is only being provided from the north.  This will be a major station for Century Blvd. and LAX-adjacent workers and commuters on both sides of the L.A./Inglewood border, and a comprehensive pedestrian access plan must be included in the final designing and building of the station. 

 

Hence the following motion to be discussed: 

 

MOTION—Pedestrian Access on the South Side of Century Blvd. for the Metro Century/Aviation Station 

 

- Whereas, hundreds of daily employees work in the cargo facilities located on the south side of Century Boulevard, and 

- Whereas, pedestrian access into and out of the future Metro Century/Aviation station will occur from both the north and south sides of Century Boulevard, and 

- Whereas, the current plans for the station only provide pedestrian access from the north side of Century Boulevard, forcing many pedestrians coming from the south to cross this very busy intersection at Century/Aviation, 

- Therefore, the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee favors both northern and southern entrances for the future Metro Century/Aviation station, and any associated pedestrian ramps, elevators, escalators, bridges or other amenities to/from this station, in order to: 

- Enhance pedestrian access to this vital station, and 

- Dramatically improve the pedestrian activity along Century Boulevard and prevent unnecessary traffic from large numbers of pedestrians crossing Century Boulevard during peak travel times. 

 

And it's no secret that the Century/Aviation station (and to a lesser degree, the newly-announced 96th/Aviation station) will be commercial and tourist gateways that should not be lost on any commuter or tourist.