Mark Ridley-Thomas worked to secure a $546 million federal loan guarantee to jumpstart construction of the 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor light rail project that will transport commuters, students and seniors from the Crenshaw District to the Green Line Station in El Segundo. The seven-station 1.76 billion light rail line construction project is underway with completion of the line expected in 2019. Mark Ridley-Thomas has engaged consultants to examine transit-oriented development (TOD) possibilities along the Crenshaw/LAX Line, including a vision for revitalizing Leimert Park Village where a below-grade transit station will be located. NOTE: Add hyperlink to Urban Land Institute, Los Angeles Report.
In Spring 2016, Mark Ridley-Thomas will join city officials from Culver City and Santa Monica for the official opening of Expo Line Phase 2. The 12-station, 8.6-mile Phase 1 portion of the Expo Line – running from downtown L.A. to Culver City – opened in Spring 2012. Seven stations are being built on the 6.6-mile Expo Line Phase 2 light rail line that will travel through West L.A. to the vicinity of Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade shopping district.
Crenshaw/LAX and Expo Line Phase 1 and 2 are expected to transport tens of thousands of passengers daily and connect residents of Southwest Los Angeles to Pasadena, Universal City, East L.A. and Long Beach through Metro’s regional light rail system.
Mark Ridley-Thomas has recommended the feasibility study for the proposed “Rail-to-River Bikeway” that would transform unused or abandoned rail right-of-ways along a blighted section of Slauson Avenue into an 8.3-mile linear park featuring a pedestrian walk-path and bike route.
Supervisor Ridley-Thomas continues the fight for environmental justice on behalf of Second District residents.
Mark Ridley-Thomas has asked for a detailed inventory of all oil fields currently operating within L.A. County’s jurisdiction and requested a report by the county Public Health and Regional Planning departments on strategies to ensure that active oil field operations – including the Inglewood Oil Field near the Baldwin Hills State Recreation Area – are safe, continuously monitored, and nearby residential neighborhoods are protected.
Mark Ridley-Thomas has prevented the practice of “fracking” as a means of oil extraction at the Inglewood Oil Field situated between Baldwin Hills and Culver City. “I want to make it very clear to the residents of my district,” Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said, “There is no hydraulic fracturing happening in the Inglewood Oil Field and there are no current plans to do so. The Inglewood Oil Field is unique precisely because of the extensive regulations, monitoring and continuing research that makes the public’s health and safety the first priority.”
Our Work is NOT Done
Since his election in 2008, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has worked diligently to enhance the quality of life for residents of the communities he serves. But as hard as he’s already worked, he is working even harder to further strengthen our communities.
Using the new MLK Community Hospital as its anchor, Mark Ridley-Thomas is spearheading new development in and around the MLK Medical Campus that will transform the Willowbrook community and Watts neighborhoods that envelop the campus. The Rosa Parks Station at the junction of Metro’s Blue Line and Green Line light rail systems has won support and funding for a major renovation a half-mile east of the new hospital and adjoining health facilities. This major transit station’s renovation means added jobs and future careers for many community workers seeking still full employment.
More transformation spearheaded by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas is in store further north in the densely populated, culturally diverse Vermont Corridor not far from downtown Los Angeles. Aged, dilapidated and long neglected county government office buildings will soon make way for a modern new 400,000 sq. ft. structure to house the county’s mental health department headquarters.
A mixed-use high-rise with street level retail and commercial spaces is envisioned for Vermont and 6th Street where blighted county buildings now exist. Affordable housing for senior residents, a street-level community center and ample open space are also envisioned for the Vermont Corridor revitalization.
The county’s $453 million Vermont Corridor projects would potentially employ up to 1,400 construction workers and lead to the creation hundreds of permanent post-construction jobs. The last effect will be a stronger Central L.A. community with nearby subway stations connections to county regional transit destinations, retail shops, markets and the Korean American National Museum and Islamic Center of Southern California.