This summer, LACBC hosted two events along the Metro Blue Line as part of a pilot project to improve safety and access to each Blue Line station. While bus and train rides usually make up the core of a person’s trip, people often get from their homes to the train, or from the train to work, on their own. This is known as First/Last Mile, and often requires folks to walk, ride, or roll to access a transit center.
This First/Last Mile project started last fall with six other community-based organizations including TRUST South LA, Multicultural Communities for Mobility, American Pacific Islander Forward Movement, Ride On Bike Coop, East Side Riders, and Healthy Active Streets.
Each organization led walk audits with volunteers and community members around each of the 22 Blue line stations to assess them for safety and ease of access, and to help identify opportunities for improvement.
LACBC staff and volunteers completing walk audit materials at Compton Station in January.
The Metro Blue Line is the oldest metro line in Los Angeles County, and much of it runs through low income communities of color that have historically been disinvested and excluded from the planning process. As a result, in order to ensure the community is involved in identifying current conditions and community needs, each organization led events at 11 of the stations to gather community feedback and ideas. LACBC took the lead on events at Compton Station and Washington Station.
DJ Que Madre created a fun, relaxed atmosphere for both events.
Compton Station Resource Fair
On Thursday, August 24, 2017, LACBC hosted an after-school community resource fair at the Compton Station. Along with the Compton Community College District, the Los Angeles County Library, and Metro, LACBC shared bike safety resources and gave away paletas, water, and one-day TAP cards to community members who shared their valuable insight on how to improve walking and biking to the Blue Line Compton Station.
Over 100 local residents stopped by our booths, with many noting concerns about inadequate lighting, speeding vehicles, poor sidewalk conditions, and lack of shade on many streets. Despite the afternoon heat, DJ Que Madre spun chill records to keep a cool vibe.
LACBC volunteer, Pablo Lujan, speaks with a community member about concerns around the Compton Station. Pablo also volunteered for the Compton walk audit.
Washington Station Sunday Funday & BBQ
On Sunday, September 3, 2017, LACBC hosted its monthly “Sunday Funday” ride in conjunction with the Blue Line Washington Station event. The day started off with a quick five-mile loop ride out of Gilbert Lindsay Recreation Center. The ride, which passed by some local murals, focused on the conditions immediately surrounding the Washington Station, especially along Long Beach Boulevard.
Both LACBC members and local neighborhood residents on the ride agreed that street safety improvements were needed for people walking, biking and taking transit near Washington Station. Car speed was a major concern for riders, as was the lack of bicycle facilities, the large amounts of potholes on the roads, unsafe intersections, and poor lighting conditions.
Riders going south on Long Beach next to Washington Station.
The streets closest to the station were especially dangerous, with many cracks and potholes in the pavement.
Back at the park, riders and community members had the opportunity to share their concerns about the streets near the Washington Station and ideas about how to improve safety. Everyone had a chance to relax in the shade, eat some delicious BBQ chicken, enjoy the music of DJ Que Madre, and watch the live graffiti art installation by artist Tetris. At the park, over 100 community members participated in the festivities and provided valuable information to Metro about how to improve “first mile last mile” connections to the station.
Staffers Elizabeth Alcantar, Monique Lopez, and Lyndsey Nolan with artist, Tetris.
LACBC looks forward to the next phase of this project and seeing what Metro proposes to improve access and safety for all communities living along the Metro Blue Line.