In 2012, Metro began exploring the possibility of transforming a segment of a former freight rail right-of-way that cuts through the heart of South Los Angeles into an active transportation project. The project, now known as the Rail-to-River corridor, would convert the Harbor Subdivision - which runs east-to-west along Florence and Slauson Avenues - for use by pedestrians and cyclists.
To capitalize on this investment, the City of Los Angeles will use a three-year, $580,000 grant from Metro to craft a transit-oriented development (TOD) plan for the surrounding area. The new plan will focus on land use, zoning, urban design, and street improvement strategies along Slauson, with particular emphasis to its connections with the Blue and Crenshaw/LAX light rail lines. In certain locations, modifications to existing land use regulations may be considered to provide activation along the corridor.
The TOD plan, which was introduced in a motion last week by Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren Price, builds upon changes already envisioned by the community. The South L.A. and Southeast L.A. community plans, adopted last year after nearly a decade of discussion, took note of the Rail-to-River project and its interactions with Slauson's current built environment, which is predominantly industrial. Although this will remain the status quo for the near future, the South L.A. plans encourage new construction to face Slauson, rather than turning its back to it.
Price's motion is to be scheduled for consideration at a future City Council meeting.
The initial segment of the Rail to River corridor is scheduled to open in 2019, shortly before the anticipated start of revenue of service on the Crenshaw/LAX Line.