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 be held. Join Metro for an important meeting on February 26, 2014.
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the Rail-to-River project will put South Los Angeles firmly in the company of communities that have turned old and outdated train tracks into green space to be used by all.