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Leimert Park Deserves A Station

Posted by Fix Expo Team On May - 7 - 2011

Young Drummer Boy on 43rd Place in Leimert Park Village - LA Times

So says Hector Tobar lays it down in his LA Times column by offering for the first time on the paper’s pages, a historical context of our fight to underground the entirety of the portion of the Crenshaw-LAX Line on Crenshaw Blvd and RETURN to the official plans the Leimert Park Village station that was in all of the previous plans. Leimert Park Deserves a Light-Rail Station:

When I was a kid, I had a map with a dotted line for the Beverly Hills Freeway. It was going to run just south of my East Hollywood neighborhood, plowing through the Fairfax district on its way to the sea, bulldozing a mansion or two along the way.

It was never built, of course.

Another dotted line on that same map marked the Century Freeway, Interstate 105, which was built. Caltrans cut a gaping no-man’s land through South L.A. and Lynwood years before construction began, and so fostered crime and urban decay.

Working-class L.A. bore the brunt of the sacrifice in the building of L.A.’s massive transportation network. Communities of color were especially hard-hit.

[....]

Considering all the poor policy decisions inflicted on black L.A. over the years, you’d think today’s leaders would be falling all over themselves to get it right this time.

And the church said, “Amen.” Read the entire article, its truly a gem.

See also:

Last week’s LA Sentinel editorial: Leimert Park Station, A Must

Last week’s column by Dr. Anthony Samad in Our Weekly, titled Crenshaw Rail Line: Let’s Avoid Being Taken for a Ride:

How we position ourselves on this mass transit infrastructure issue will speak volumes on how we impact the economic growth and prosperity of Leimert Park Village and the Hyde Park Business District. What we cannot allow is the underdevelopment of mass transit that tends to ghettoize urban communities.

Urban centers are designed around two things: schools and mass transit. Business comes where the transit stops, and homeowners come where the schools are. The money then follows both.

Until our community understands that mis-designing mass transit is a detriment to the economic development prospects of our community, we will never see the change we desire.

When we get it, they get it. We just have to show MTA the Crenshaw community now gets it and make they get it, too. We know what we want in our communities. With the community watchdogs and policy sophistication we have now, they’ll never mis-design another rail system … and that’s a good thing.

This week’s column by Dr. David Horne in Our Weekly, titled Transportation and Representation: It’s Time to Put Up or Shut Up:

The board can vote to include underground construction of the rail line in the area, and a preferred stop on Vernon and Crenshaw, so foot traffic will easily take tourists and business investors straight to Leimert Park Village, with its many retail shops and cultural cuisine items.

But the board will have to be convinced to do so. In order for that proposal to be successful, we all need some real booties in the balcony. Black folk need to be seen in the aisles, halls and in the seats to demonstrate our sustained interest in the supervisor’s proposal. No people, no pressure, and no positive vote. That’s how it works. So get there.

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