Members of communities lining Metro's new Crenshaw/LAX line, which is still undergoing construction, met with Metro representation Tuesday to discuss the promotion of the Active Transportation Strategic Plan, a project designed to increase walking, biking, and transit use as a means of transportation.
Residents in attendance were confident in Metro's ability to increase active transportation.
"I'm from New York, so I've seen that change and how regions that were not considered bike friendly or walker friendly are now full of pedestrians and bikers," said Sharon Johnson, a resident in the community who has been without a car for nine years. "It's just another great way to not only talk about health and other ways to get around besides driving, but also, as one of the presenters said, to make it a part of your transportation plan."
The plan was recently drafted and published online for public comment. Metro representative Julia Salinas presented social media and print marketing strategies at the meeting and believes that through channels like Snapchat and Instagram, Metro will be able to broaden the demographic of transit users.
Outside of digital marketing, the group announced a print advertising strategy that will include business-card-sized Metro maps geared to help promote the history of the Crenshaw district. The map cards are expected to offer visitors easy access to the area's rich but underrepresented cultural history. Tuesday's meeting allowed community members to brainstorm destinations for Crenshaw's History Map, intended to showcase the area's entertainment, art, food, culture, history, and sports hot spots.
The meeting also served to promote the Metro's "Halfway There Community Celebration," which will celebrate the diverse communities along the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project. The celebration will be held on Saturday, May 7, and will showcase community performances, food, and activities. It will also host a small business resource area. Another similar meeting will take place on Thursday.
It's not the first time the Metro has immersed itself into the culture of the community to find influence for their projects. Last summer, it published the Tunnel Boring Machine Contest which invited students to submit essays and artwork detailing their ideal community and naming the twin tunnels dug for the new Crenshaw/LAX line. When the top 10 submissions were selected, over 50,000 community members voted on the winners. Metro also participated in Inglewood's "Youth Job Shadow Day," an event at which nearly 20 Inglewood students attended Metro board meetings, toured Union and Metro stations and were taught how to ride the train and Metro.
Community members said they look forward to the completion of the new Crenshaw/LAX line, and hope it will shine light and bring new publicity to the positive aspects of the communities it lines.
"I think it's a forward-moving progress joining Los Angeles together as a bigger community, as a more interconnected community," said Brian Bowens, a long-term community activist and resident. "I think that all the little challenges that will come in the development will pay off long term."
Reach Staff Reporter Madeline Ottilie here.