L.A. is a strange place.

While Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is busy busy lobbying Washington for cash for a “subway to the sea” many Westsiders wouldn't touch with a 10-foot iPad (and, heck, the people of Beverly Hills would probably be happy if it would just skip their town altogether), the good residents of Leimert Park Village, the epicenter of black culture in L.A., might not get a stop at all as the Crenshaw/LAX light-rail line cruises by.

County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who represents that area, is still keeping his eyes on this prize, however, even as he introduced …

… a motion for the Metro board this week that would create a fund so that mom-and-pop shops along the line would be compensated if, for example, workers had shut down their street for construction.

The proposal would also have Metro “plans for safety, local worker hiring and streetscape improvements along the route,” according to a statement from Ridley-Thomas' office.

The supervisor says:

The Crenshaw/LAX line project is moving fast ahead. As it is being built we must also make sure the community doesn't pay too high a price for its long-overdue rail service.

That Leimert Park stop remains on Ridley-Thomas' train schedule, too. The Metro board actually approved it last month but then failed to find the cash for it, so its future remains off the rails.

He says, “As we continue to press for a rail station in Leimert Park Village, the cultural center of African American Los Angeles, we must also make sure construction of the project promotes the economic growth that is the foundation of that rich cultural life.”

His motion gets a vote Aug. 4.


LA Weekly