December 5, 2013
See website for a video.
An eight-mile stretch of unsightly, unkempt and unused railway in
South Los Angeles is poised for a wonderful transformation into a
greenbelt with walkways and bike lanes. The 8.3-mile right-of-way, which
generally parallels Slauson Avenue, is being studied for key upgrades
by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Dubbed Rail-to-River, the trail would begin at the future site of a
Crenshaw-to-LAX light rail station in Inglewood, moving east along
Slauson Boulevard, and will end just north of Washington Boulevard near
the Los Angeles River.
The project, proposed by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Supervisor
Gloria Molina, who both sit on the Metro board of directors, is in the
planning stages, and a series of community town hall meetings will begin
in this month. Join Metro for the first meeting on December 11, 2013.
Other communities both here in Los Angeles County and around the
country have undertaken similar efforts to repurpose unused and blighted
railways, and the short video below gives an idea of the possibilities
for recreational development along the South L.A. path.
Highlighted in the video is New York City’s famous High Line project,
a public park built along a freight rail line running above Manhattan;
another example comes from the Whittier Greenway Trail, a lovely
4.5-mile commuter bikeway and pedestrian path that once was an abandoned
railroad right of way.
Once it is completed, the Rail-to-River project will put South Los
Angeles firmly in the company of communities that have turned old and
outdated train tracks into green space to be used by all.