The Expo/Crenshaw rail station in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of Los Angeles is more than a place for public transit. It is an opportunity to make public transit more accessible for people walking and biking to the station from nearby areas like North Leimert Park.
The Expo/Crenshaw First/Last Mile Plan, will propose street and sidewalk improvements within a quarter-mile to make walking and biking to the station safer and more comfortable by focusing on nearby streets such as Crenshaw, Exposition, Obama, and Jefferson Boulevards.
Ultimately, LA Metro’s responsibility is to build public transit. They are also tasked with preparing first/last mile plans to identify convenient connections for people who are walking, using a wheelchair, or riding a bike to get to and from the Expo/Crenshaw station.
Ideas like enhanced bus stops, improved sidewalks, street landscaping, protected bike lanes, pedestrian lighting, and better street signage are all options on Crenshaw, Exposition, Obama, and Jefferson.
However, residents said repairs and maintenance must come first.
“Crenshaw Blvd is in need of repair,” said Marla Anderson. “I’m more concerned about the quality of the street.”
Staff recommendations for public streets within three blocks of the Expo/Crenshaw Station, include adding street lights and trees, as well as possible street design changes, such as bike lanes, crosswalks, and potential changes to traffic lanes.
Adding bike lanes are a point of major contention for many community members because they believe fewer lanes will make vehicular traffic even more difficult. Concerned citizens also feel there has not been enough community engagement on this matter.
The station is important because it is a transfer point between Metro’s Expo Line and its new Crenshaw/LAX Line.
Jacob Lieb, senior director for First/Last Mile Planning for LA Metro said the Expo/Crenshaw Line will likely see more ridership going forward.
Two virtual Expo/Crenshaw First/Last Mile open houses were held via Zoom in late May.