Route along Randolph Street approved for segment B of Rail to River walk and bike path

 

A 4.3-mile route along Randolph Street — B4 in the map above — was selected as the ‘locally preferred alternative’ by the Metro Board last week for the second segment of the Rail to River Corridor project.

The project aims to build a walk and bike path along an old rail right-of-way (known as the ‘Harbor Subdivision’) between Inglewood, South Los Angeles, Huntington Park, Vernon, Bell, Maywood and the Los Angeles River. Segment A of the project is in the design phase; Metro’s goal is to open that 6.4-mile section in late 2019 prior to the Crenshaw/LAX Line’s debut.

Funding will need to be secured for Segment B to be built. As for the route, Randolph Street is adjacent to many residential neighborhoods, along with a few industrial areas — and also offers easy access to Huntington Park’s busy downtown along Pacific Boulevard. Here are some overhead views of the Randolph corridor from Google Maps (click on the pics for a larger view):

Randolph Street and the old railroad bridge over the L.A. River in Maywood.

Randolph Street just east of Atlantic Boulevard in Maywood and Bell.

Randolph Street at the center of the image. Vernon is at left and Huntington Park at right.

Randolph and Pacific Boulevard in downtown Huntington Park.

Segment B will eventually offer access to another Metro project — the light rail line between Artesia and Union Station (also known as the West Santa Ana Branch Light Rail Project). In fact, one version of that project may also run along parts of Randolph Street in Huntington Park. That project’s environmental study will analyze how (or if) the rail line and walk/bike path can coexist.

The bike path will also eventually connect with the Los Angeles River Bike Path, which currently runs between Maywood and Long Beach. A separate project with Measure M funding aims to close the eight-mile gap between Maywood and the Elysian Valley. Finishing that stretch will allow cyclists to ride along the river into downtown Los Angeles.

Here are earlier presentations on both segments:

Pdf version here.

Pdf version here.

 

 

11 replies

  1. I’m curious as to how this will affect WSA. The Randolph track is so prime; as is the Slauson ROW, but I think we’ve come to terms with Slauson not being a viable option. However, WSA seems to have picked up some steam, yet this conflict arises in where WSA would figuratively tie into the Blue Line. WSA may have more elevated track than we originally thought? Interesting stuff.

    • If WSA uses Randolph, I’m not sure there will be an issue – although obviously it will be studied. There are bike paths alongside the Orange Line and Expo Line — both are old rail corridors and neither are crazy wide.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. Steve,

    Isn’t the first phase of this project (along the Harbor Subdivision) incompatible with Phil Washington’s recently proposed LAX-Union Station express train?

    “The Harbor Subdivision ROW is approximately 40’ wide along Slauson Avenue. As such, there is insufficient width for both a bikeway/multi-purpose lane and a fixed guideway facility. The construction of an interim bike/multi-purpose path could preclude future construction of a fixed guideway facility without the purchase of additional ROW.” (http://libraryarchives.metro.net/DPGTL/publications/2014-LA-Metro-Rail-to-River-Final.pdf)

    • Hi Hi.S.

      My understanding is that there will be a feasibility study of the express train — but that’s it for now. There is no funding secured for such a project, nor has anyone decided on a route. There has been talk over the years about using the Harbor Subdivision for a rail project, but it hasn’t gone anywhere. So the thinking is rather than it have it sit there unused for years/decades to come, use it for something the community needs. I think the walk/bike path will help clean up a neglected area and also offer a great east-west travel option for those on bikes — and there are plenty of people commuting via bike in South L.A.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. “Segment A” would’ve been the simplest way to extend the Crenshaw line and get an airport-to-downtown LRT setup; transit infrastructure many/most modern cities have as a given. Kinda ridiculous we’re getting a bike path instead…..smh.

    danielc56

    • There are only two choices currently, blight or a bike/ped path. Your obviously choosing blight as the preferred alternative. The cost of installing a bike/ped path is not comparable to installing a train line.

  4. I’m still convinced that the harbor subdivision should be used for new Metrolink service (in addition to this bike path, which is great too in its own right).

  5. Since there is already an active UP (former Pacific Electric Whittier Line) branch along Randolph, I wonder if the Right-of-Way (ROW) is wide enough for this path along with the West Santa Ana LRT and the UP line. Please advise.

    As before, I contend that a MUCH BETTER use of this ROW along Slauson would be a Blue Line branch connecting with the Crenshaw Line and providing ONE-SEAT rail passenger service between Union Station, Downtown LA, and LAX.

    Essentially ALL major US airports (except LGA which will soon have it) have ONE-SEAT rail service between the airport and the respective downtown. Why must LA remain SECOND CLASS when it come to providing this? We deserve better than this.

    According to LAWA, even when the LAX Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP) is completed in 2023 or 2024, approximately 2% of total airport traffic will use public transit. At JFK, the AirTrain (APM) carries 17% of airport traffic. In this respect alone, LAX and Los Angeles will remain second-class for the foreseeable future. LAX is currently rated as average, with airport access rated poor. I see nothing in either the LAX or LA Metro plans that will materially improve this deplorable situation.

  6. Guys, aside from the great rail versus bike debate, as a cyclist this is a great project, and Randolph is an excellent local route. However!!!! From a cycling perspective, when the river path is connected, and I ride south from DTLA, there is now way I’m going to ride all the way to Randolph and double back in order to head West on the subdivision. Does anyone at metro cycle? Anna? Someone please remind staffers to consider cycling route geometries better in planning. Malabar makes excellent sense for southbound river cyclists.

  7. The funding for a light-rail line along Slauson Ave would come from Measure M. Currently listed projects under Measure M are for the next 30 years. Are you proposing that one of those projects be dropped or pushed back in order to have enough money to install a light-rail line along Slauson? Installing a light-rail line costs hundreds of million dollars. The cost of a bike/ped path is not comparable. The area along those unused tracks is blighted. Your essentially stating that this area should remain blighted until the time, if ever, that a train line is installed along that right-of-way.