Monday, July 18, 2011

The Crenshaw Subway Coalition

It's an unfortunate disagreement.  In my opinion, the constituents behind the prospective lawsuit want the Crenshaw line to be a subway, as opposed to at-grade.  Other's are adamant about having a station stop at Leimart Park (which is a good idea)...but Metro's Board didn't resolve all of their concerns via the community outreach process, and now the community group (led by the woman that was fighting for Bernard Park's council seat) is using CEQA to leverage more 'play' with regards to their negotiation tactics.  

Lawsuits, in my opinion, divert money away from design and planning, and inevitably compromise the project.  If we could inspire a more diligent community outreach process as led by architects, then I'd hope that these types of disagreements could be ameliorated in advance before going to the courts.

Also, I think there is an opportunity for architects to demonstrate to communities that, if designed well, at-grade light-rail is a much more desirable transit system (especially from a user's experience) and from the POV for return on investment for the community.  Subways are hidden and don't necessarily add anything of merit to a neighborhood as compared to a well-designed at-grade or above-grade physically inspiring presence.

That's my two cents.

-Will Wright.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your two cents Will. But if you really like it, advocate for it in your neighborhood. As far as I have seen there have not been one at grade or above grade changes in Los Angeles or Pasadena. There are no design changes when it comes West Los Angeles or any other areas that are slated for construction. Hang out on Washington Blvd in Los Angeles near the Blue Line and see how years later there has not been anyone running to open a business. Crenshaw Blvd needs a shot in the arm and building an at/above ground train will not be an answer. Neither will leaving out a Leimert Park station is an insult to injury. If lawsuits take away from design and planning, if they had left well enough alone, (a LP station and continue to leave the project below ground) monies would be there and we would not be having this conversation. Plus Black people have to go into their pockets to fight for something that should be rightfully theirs.