Art of Transit:
Good article by reporter Meghan McCarty Carino on gentrification concerns along the Crenshaw/LAX Line that is set to open in 2019 and serve the Crenshaw Corridor, Leimert Park, Park Mesa Heights, Inglewood and the LAX area.
As the article notes, Metro CEO Phil Washington is keenly aware of these issues and doesn’t want to see long-time or future riders pushed out of neighborhoods near new transit lines.
So what can Metro do about this? Especially with the vast majority of development expected to take place near the Crenshaw/LAX Line to be on private land.
A few things are in the works:
•On the land that Metro does own and plans to develop, the agency requires a minimum of 35 percent of the units qualify as affordable housing.
•The Metro Board last year approved spending $9 million as seed money on a new affordable housing loan program that will soon launch. The idea is to make loans available for qualified affordable housing developers who want to build within a half-mile of frequent and high-capacity transit lines.
•The agency is also contributing money to a small business loan program to help firms near transit stay in place.
As Meghan notes, there is another layer to this issue: it’s the cities along the Crenshaw/LAX Line that ultimately decide what gets built there and how to fund more affordable housing.
In Los Angeles, for example, elected officials for years have talked about policies that would require a certain percentage of units to be affordable (called inclusionary zoning) or linkage fees that would require all developers to pay into affordable housing funds. Despite all the talk, nothing has happened on that front.
Cities, too, have struggled to update zoning codes that dictate what can be built and where. Zoning codes could, for example, allow taller, bigger buildings with more residential units. Increasing supply doesn’t always mean that prices come down — but most people would say it’s better housing-wise to have more supply than not.
But…again, this has been challenging, especially in the city of L.A. where development outside of downtown can be a very contentious issue.
So it’s tough. At the end of the day, I think it’s certainly better to build good transit than go with the status quo. The challenge is to ensure there’s a lot more winners when this happens.
What do you think readers? How much civil investment do you want? How would you handle gentrification and displacement if you were calling the shots? Comment please.
Metro’s declining ridership, explained (Curbed LA)
Not much new here that hasn’t appeared elsewhere with Curbed blaming buses getting stuck in traffic, service cuts between 2005 and 2010, cheaper gas and gentrification making transit-friendly neighborhoods more affluent — with residents more prone to driving.
Hard to argue with any of those but I’d add: more affordable new and used cars, a strong economy providing employees with money for those cars and cheap door-to-door rides courtesy of Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing firms.
Metro’s ridership estimates are here and are updated every month. The American Public Transportation Assn. also publishes quarterly ridership reports with numbers from large transit agencies across the U.S.
DTLA will have huge role in 2028 Olympics (Downtown News)
Sixteen events will be at Staples Center, the Convention Center, Microsoft Theater and Exposition Park — not to mention the big concentration of DTLA hotel rooms.
By 2028, there will be two rail lines spanning DTLA, the existing Red/Purple Line and the Regional Connector with three new stations.
Should be fun. My three cents: I hope the renovation of Pershing Square is done by then.
Categories: Transportation Headlines