LA Observed: For the MTA, the buck stops at Leimert Park

Via LA Observed

The Mayor of Los Angeles, the five County Supervisors and seven other directors of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) can soon answer a question left hanging for two years.


Will Leimert Park Village have a light rail station?

Adecision on the station has languished, despite it being one of those rare causes seemingly everyone says they support. The station would connect Los Angeles to the city's African American cultural center, much like the current stations in Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Culver City and Mariachi Plaza have enhanced the appeal of those destinations.


But when the station came up for a Metro board vote in 2011, Metro's own staff was divided: some said the agency could afford the station, others said it was impossible. The Mayor — who effectively controls four of the board's 13 votes — insisted no additional money be put up for a station and persuaded a majority of the board to go along with him.


The Metro board must soon stop the hedging and make the right decision. In the first week of May, the leading bidder for the Crenshaw/LAX rail line will be made public, to then be approved by the board at the end of the month.


If the bid does not include the station, or if it says construction costs are beyond what had been expected, the Metro board must decide whether it can find additional resources for a station.


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