Libraries, Constituent Service Centers

Expanding the Reach of the Silver Line

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There’s a new and faster way for commuters to travel from the San Pedro waterfront to downtown Los Angeles and onto El Monte.

“Today, we unveil a new and improved Silver Line,” Metropolitan Transportation Authority board chairman and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said during a press conference set against the backdrop of the historic battleship USS Iowa.

“With increased frequency and service now extending all the way into San Pedro, the Silver Line provides a premiere path for Angelenos to access all of the unique destinations in the South Bay and beyond that is easy, convenient and affordable,” he added.

IMG_1448 (1)Launched in 2009, the Silver Line has an average of 16,000 boardings daily. Metro has extended its regular route and added express service, which can shorten rush hour commutes by up to 20 minutes. It will serve the following stops and stations before arriving in Downtown LA: San Pedro, Pacific Coast Highway Station, Carson Station, Figueroa/190th, Harbor Gateway Transit Center and Harbor Freeway Station.

The Silver Line Express 950X will make limited stops along the I-110 Freeway between San Pedro and downtown Los Angeles during the weekday morning and evening rush hours, before proceeding to El Monte.

The Silver Line 910 will run the same route daily, but with a few more stops. It will also run during off-peak hours, including evenings and weekends.

“Expanding the Silver Line saves time for commuters, connects people to communities and links workers to jobs,” Los Angeles Mayor and Metro board member Eric Garcetti said. “Frequent service between San Pedro and the heart of downtown means fewer people in cars — getting them to their work, family and fun more quickly, while reducing carbon emissions and easing congestion.”

Fare for both the Silver Line and Silver Line Express will remain the same at $2.50, and includes a free transfer with a TAP card. To celebrate the new service, the Pacific Battleship Center will offer discounted admission to the USS Iowa.

“The Silver Line Express is a great example of how Metro is exploring new ways to make service better for our customers,” Metro CEO Phil Washington said.


Slauson Revitalization

_DFB2789Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas provided a progress report on the ongoing Slauson Corridor Revitalization Project during a community meeting this month, drawing enthusiastic responses from residents and business owners in View Park, Windsor Hills and Ladera Heights.

“Revitalization does not come quickly, but we are well on our way,” he told a crowd of about 200 at Knox Presbyterian Church.

“No one can stop me from waging war on blight,” he added. “The commercial corridors of this community have not reflected residents’ expectations for far too long.”

The $28-million initiative is aimed at improving residents’ quality of life while giving businesses an economic boost. The County is investing:
  • $650,000 to give 20 local businesses on both the north and south sides of Slauson Avenue between Angeles Vista and La Brea a facelift by renovating their decades-old storefront facades;
  • $8.5 million to improve 1.3 miles of streetscape on Slauson Avenue between Angeles Vista and La Brea, as well as an adjacent segment of Overhill Drive between Slauson Avenue and Stocker Ave;
  • $18.9 million for four major park improvements.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the progress to date, and find comfort that the vision for additional phases remain intact,” said View Park resident Pernell Cox. “With demonstrated progress, momentum, and a concerted effort from private and County stakeholders, I am more confident that we, residents, will be able to experience a much improved Slauson Corridor in the very near future.”

“The revitalization plan laid out by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas were impressive and exciting,” added fellow View Park resident Ben Kahle. “My family and I look forward to the beautification and developments along Slauson and Overhill, as well as to patronizing the new businesses on the corridor.”

To date, 10 storefront facades on the south side of Slauson Avenue between Angeles Vista Boulevard and La Brea Avenue have been upgraded at an average cost of about $20,000 per business.

Bonnie B’s, Glamour Girl, CJ’s Elegance were among the establishments that received a fresh coat of paint, as well as new display windows, signage, awnings and lighting.

Percell Keeling, owner of Simply Wholesome, said, “We are pleased with the progress of the improvements and look forward to future developments.”

The changes are already having a positive effect on the community. “We’ve heard from the Sheriff’s Department that crime is down, and that business is good,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.

Another 10 facades, this time on the north side of Slauson Avenue from Angeles Vista to Overhill Drive, will be renovated this fall through spring 2016. Sights are also set on working with property owners to renovate the Windsor Hills Shopping Center Parking Lot, just north of the street.

Due to begin construction in Spring 2016 are streetscape improvements on Slauson Avenue that will make it much more pleasant for patrons to walk, bike and shop along the corridor. Specific improvements include road resurfacing; bike lanes; new trees, lighting, benches and trash receptacles; decorative crosswalks; and drought-tolerant landscaping on medians.

Once those are completed, construction will begin on similar streetscape improvements on Overhill Drive, with completion expected sometime in summer 2018.

_DFB2754Meanwhile, work is underway on the Stocker Park and Hahn Park segments of the 13.2-mile Park to Playa Trail that will connect the greater Baldwin Hills to the Pacific Ocean. A trailhead will soon open at Stocker Avenue, along with a connection to Rueben Ingold Park.

Scheduled to begin soon are renovations to the Kenneth Hahn Community and Interpretive Center, which the public can enjoy by spring 2016. In October, construction will also begin on Stoneview Nature Center in Blair Hills – which will have native gardens, a community kitchen, and many other unique amenities that are new to the Second District.

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas thanked the community for embracing the goals of the project. “Interest in seeing change does not translate into unanimous consensus on how things should get done but, regardless, we have found a way to move forward.”

A Vision for Leimert Park Village


CREDIT: John Dlugolecki/Urban Land Institute of Los Angeles

A panel of experts from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) unveiled Friday its vision for revitalizing Leimert Park Village, the center of African American culture in Los Angeles and a stop on the Crenshaw/LAX Rail Line, opening in 2019.

Investors and business owners have been eyeing the 1.19-square mile neighborhood (population 13,000) just west of Exposition Park since the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, on a motion by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, voted to build an underground train station there.

For advice on the best use of the land and creating a thriving community, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas tapped the ULI, a nonprofit and nonpartisan research and education organization recognized as one of the nation’s most respected sources of objective information on urban planning, growth and development.

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ULI TAP panel chairman Michael Banner interviewing Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.


“Leimert Park Village is at a critical crossroads”, said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “The $2-billion public investment in the Crenshaw/LAX transit line is a unique opportunity to attract investment and propel the community forward in achieving its vision as a hub for African American arts and culture in Los Angeles County.”

On Friday, ULI’s technical assistance panel – composed of ULI members, together with experts in real estate development, land use planning and design, real estate financing, economic development and marketing – presented its report after conducting site visits and interviews with stakeholders that included Supervisor Ridley-Thomas and City Council President Herb Wesson.

Among its first priorities, the panel recommended cleaning up the neglected park at the center of the village; completing long-stalled renovations to the historic Vision Theater; filling what are now empty storefronts and parking lots with community-oriented retail and dining establishments; and building housing units that would double as studios for local artists.

The panel also called for integrating art into public spaces; promoting cultural assets; and making streetscape improvements such as adding bike lanes, lighting, and a paseo similar to the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.

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CREDIT: John Dlugolecki/Urban Land Institute of Los Angeles

“Leimert Park Village has many assets that can be used to entice and guide private development,” said panel chairman Michael Banner. “The panel’s recommendations address immediate, near-term and long-term strategies to achieve the community’s vision for Leimert Park Village.”

The panel said an entity should be designated to take the lead in implementing short-term and long-term goals. It also proposed looking into tax credits, philanthropy and even crowd-funding to pay for projects.

Once completed in 2019, the Crenshaw/LAX rail line will have eight stations, the northernmost connecting to the Expo Line, and southernmost to the Green Line, not far from one of the world’s busiest airports. Funded through Measure R, a half-cent sales tax approved by voters in 2008, it is projected to have a daily ridership of 13,000 to 16,000.

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CREDIT: John Dlugolecki/Urban Land Institute of Los Angeles

Dreamfield at Roosevelt Park

Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation Dream Field Dedication

Built in the 1930s, Franklin D. Roosevelt Park in the Florence Firestone section of Los Angeles is one of the oldest parks in the county. But two new, state of the art baseball fields now make it one of the best places for children and families to enjoy a game of ball.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, in partnership with the LA84 Foundation, the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation and Security Benefit Life Insurance recently dedicated Dodgers Dreamfields at Roosevelt Park. This marks the Second District’s 8th and 9th Deamfields, with baseball diamonds now at Campanella, Lennox, two in Athens, Mona, two at Jesse Owens, and at Ted Watkins Parks.

“We have made sure that investing in this community is a priority,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “Together, we can and will make sure our children and families enjoy the fields of their dreams.”Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation Dream Field Dedication

The two Dreamfields at Franklin D. Roosevelt Park include newly installed side and outfield fencing, newly replaced and refurbished backstop mesh and posts, newly installed metal dugout roofs, new laser leveled infield surface including new infield mix and bases, new turf infield and watering system, new laser-leveled outfield surface including new sprinkler heads and new sod, new remote controlled solar powered scoreboard and field signage.

With a new field in a well-lighted place, youngsters can practice their skills in a community setting, with coaches and parents all enjoying the amenities.

“With these fields, we celebrate beautiful sports facilities; we celebrate teamwork and a child’s first homerun,” said the Supervisor. “We celebrate coaches who instill a work ethic in their players and those skills will last a lifetime.”

Eat, Shop, Play Crenshaw Campaign Launches

Eat,Play,CrenshawMetro and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas launched the Eat, Shop and Play Crenshaw campaign recently at the 9th annual Taste of Soul festival to support businesses impacted by the construction of the Crenshaw/LAX rail line.

Approximately 40 businesses, ranging from hair salons to restaurants to furniture stores, participated by showing their goods at booths during the Taste of Soul festival.

As part of the campaign, residents have been asked to “Take the Pledge” to support local Crenshaw area businesses, especially the businesses impacted by Crenshaw Line construction. By committing to “Take the Pledge,” consumers eat at local restaurants, shop at local stores, and play at local entertainment venues in the Crenshaw Corridor.

“We want residents to come and support our local businesses,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “This is a true partnership with our local entrepreneurs. We know that the construction has made it less convenient for patrons to shop on Crenshaw, but we need residents to support these businesses now more than ever so they continue to thrive over the next few years.”

Consumers can also visit to learn about featured participating Eat, Shop, Play Crenshaw businesses.

“It will bring visibility to the store,” said Gerold Duncan, owner of Malai Hair on Crenshaw Boulevard. “Anything to get the community involved to patronize your own stores would be helpful. If I can’t survive you are hurting opportunities for us to put back into the community. I grew up in this community and I understand that is how you make a community thrive with partnerships with local businesses. ”

The Eat, Shop and Play Crenshaw campaign is just another program designed to help boost local businesses. Recently, the 13-member Metro Board of Directors unanimously approved a groundbreaking program designed to help businesses along Crenshaw Boulevard struggling with economic losses due to construction of the Crenshaw/LAX rail line.

Under the newly established $10 million-business interruption fund, eligible small businesses along the corridor will be able to receive a maximum of $50,000 annually, not to exceed 60 percent of their business revenue loss. To qualify, owners must have no more than 25 employees, have been in operation for two years, be in good standing with local, state and federal tax requirements and be able to produce financial record demonstrating the loss of business revenue directly related to the construction are eligible for assistance.