Crenshaw Transit Corridor DEIR/DEIS Comments
Page 3 of 12economy. The BRT alternative is not fast enough to appeal to choice riders and will not attract or supplement smart-growth development to the area, meaning people will still drive with the same frequency, but their trips will take longer.This will lead to additional congestion and worsened air quality, including more greenhouse gas emissions and cancer-causing particulate matter in our community, which already has some of the highest cancer rates in the nation. The BRTalternative has all of the adverse impacts of the Base LRT and provides no benefit.
PUBLIC OPINION & ACCEPTANCE
At every Crenshaw Line meeting, the overwhelming majority of residents expressed support for a grade separated lightrail line, almost all requesting the line be placed below grade (underground) on Crenshaw. Indeed, as community leadersin the battle with the MTA to provide a safe and equitable Expo Phase 1 in South LA, we are astonished that the DEIR/Swould propose walking down the same destructive path by proposing the unsafe and inequitable Base LRT design with at-grade (street level) crossings on Crenshaw. Specifically, we find it incomprehensible and unjustifiable that the MTACrenshaw Line DEIR/S proposes:
At-grade crossings directly adjacent to the South Los Angeles schools of View Park Prep (at Slauson Ave. and 57
St.); just one block away from one of the last remaining majority-black high schools in LAUSD - Crenshaw HighSchool (at 50
Streets); and just two blocks away from St. John Evangelist School (59
A rail line designed to be underground north of the I-10 freeway in Hancock Park/Miracle Mile, but at-grade inLeimert Park (from Exposition to 39
) and in Park Mesa Heights/Hyde Park (from 48
A rail line that would just pass through Leimert Park Village, the premiere African-Americancultural/intellectual/political center of Southern California, without stopping; and
The unmitigated removal of precious parking important to the commerce of struggling, primarily black-owned,small businesses on Crenshaw Blvd.
When the light rail line is extended to Wilshire, every portion north of the I-10 freeway is proposed to be underground. Itis not acceptable to require residents in Hyde Park, Park Mesa Heights and Leimert Park to endure train accidents, trafficcongestion, pollution, and severe noise pollutions from street-level trains, while residents in Hancock Park, Park Mile andOlympic Park will not.
SAFETY & HEALTH
Los Angeles’ black communities have suffered enough pain and destruction from MTA’s at-grade crossings. Apparently it is not good enough for Los Angeles’ black communities of Watts, Willowbrook and Compton to be home to America’s deadliest light rail line - MTA’s Blue Line, and for the defective Blue Line design to replicated through themajority-minority communities of Jefferson Park and West Adams on Expo Phase 1. Astonishingly, the DEIR/S proposes aBase LRT design identical to the most accident-prone portion of the Blue Line (median street-running) down CrenshawBlvd. This is clearly unacceptable. We are especially troubled by and opposed to the proposal to operate 225-ton trainsadjacent, across walking routes, and in close proximity to several schools, numerous churches and a large senior citizenhome. With the at-grade crossings on the three lines (Blue, Expo and Crenshaw) it is reasonable to assume that SouthL.A. would be subject to approximately 2 accidents every week because of MTA. In our part of town incident rates thishigh typically necessitate gang injunctions and F.B.I. raids. MTA needs to stop maiming and killing the people of SouthL.A. and provide an underground option for the entire portion on Crenshaw Blvd.DEIR/S fails to provide an annual accident prediction report for at-grade crossings.The DEIR/S fails to provide an annual accident prediction report or identify their costs to the MTA over the life of theproject, including all costs for litigation, reconstruction, infrastructure repair, recovery teams, and a public relationsteam/campaign. Though it is the norm for MTA to blame every accident on the public and never accept agencyresponsibility, it is in the public interest, and the interests of due process and transparency that information on accidentsand costs be made available. Accordingly, the Operation and Maintenance Cost Estimates section of the DEIR/S fails toaccurately depict the costs of operating the Base LRT project with street-level crossings. At-grade crossings will further stretch the South LA’s limited emergency services and restrict emergency access. At a time of severe budget cuts straining local services, Crenshaw Blvd does not need more accident-causing streetrunning trains and at-grade intersection designs. Furthermore, tightened traffic signal sequencing at the intersections,