L.A. MTA Faces Tough Crowd In Lawndale Over Green Line
The L.A. Metropolitan Transportation Authority held a community meeting Thursday in Lawndale to discuss a proposed extension to the South Bay Metro Green Line.
The proposed project would extend the Green Line from its current terminus in Redondo Beach to Torrance and eventually be connected to a larger public transit network that is also being planned.
However, the crowd of concerned citizens who gathered for the last meeting in a series of three could best be described as contentious.
“My property value is going to drop $50,000 or $60,000 right off the bat,” said Lawndale resident Gary White to boisterous applause from most of the attendees. “This project is going to cost $500 million and nobody is going to use it, it’s a boondoggle.”
The project would be at least partially funded by Measure R, which citizens of Los Angeles voted for in 2008, but Measure R would provide only $272 million, about half the projected total cost of the four-and-a-half mile extension.
Daniel Rojas, a graduating senior at UCLA spoke in favor the proposed extension of the Green Line and was heavily booed by the crowd after suggesting that not everyone present would be alive to see the project finished.
“Think about the future and your children,” said Rojas before being drowned out by booing.
Other community members insisted that the extension would have very few riders because of the locations it would run to.
“This line would be like a bridge to nowhere,” said Bob Thegze. “It would run to an oil refinery.”
The MTA is also looking at an option to construct a shorter segment of the proposed extension using only the $272 million provided by Measure R. That line would stop at the South Bay Galleria.
However, some citizens were opposed to the construction of even a truncated railway running through their community.
“There is nothing special about the South Bay Galleria,” said Thegze. “People have their own galleria’s in their own communities, they won’t ride this train to come to the South Bay Galleria.”
Another concern voiced by attending community members was the safety of children if the rail line should run through their neighborhood.
“We’re not trying to stop progress,” said one Redondo Beach resident Laurie Prinzi. “We just want them to move the project.”
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