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The future Crenshaw/LAX Line
It's still to come amidst several bumps along the way
During his first year in office, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas authored an amendment to the MTA's long-range transportation plan that to give the Crenshaw/LAX Corridor (CLC) and Gold Line Foothill Extension first priority to new federal funding the agency will pursue. One of the stickling points in the Crenshaw/LAX Line project was a station at Leimert Park Station.
At a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) meeting, the Supervisor voted to locate a Leimert Park Station on the Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail Corridor. The residents of the community supported his vote and the MTA voted to locate a station in Leimert Park Village, only if it can be built within the existing $1.7 billion budget allocated for the Crenshaw-to-LAX line.
Although members of the Board overwhelmingly voiced support for the station, the refusal to allocate funds for the project seemed to be double talk - leaving it up in the air. Responding to that Ridley-Thomas said, at the time, "In a nutshell, the ball has been moved forward in favor of the station, but not nearly far enough. It's a victory with a small "v."
"I can think of no other issue that has united the community as has this one," the Supervisor said. He also sought to run the line underground for a one-mile stretch through Park Mesa Heights, an option that was rejected by the Metro Board.
Enter Rep. Karen Bass who has been fighting to Secure Federal funding to build the Leimert Park Station on Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail Line. Recently she issued the following statement after initiating a letter signed by Los Angeles Congressional Members to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, fighting for federal funding from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program to build the Leimert Park Station on the Crenshaw/LAX light rail line.
"Securing funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation's TIGER grant program for the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Project is a critical step to ensure the longevity of Los Angeles' infrastructure while improving resident's access to safe and reliable public transportation options. With support from LA Congressional Members, a letter was sent to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood offering our strong support for Metro's grant application, which requests $125 million to build a station at Leimert Park and stimulate economic growth throughout the LAX/Crenshaw corridor."
Her efforts seem to be the push that may be needed to assist the Supervisor in moving forward with the Leimert Park Station project which in turn will provide much-needed jobs and other conveniences for the businesses, residents and the surrounding community in the Leimert Park district.