Inglewood Transit Connector project begins outreach effort

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Contributing Writer

INGLEWOOD — The city has issued a request for information for the planned Inglewood Transit Connector project that will transport visitors to multiple sporting sites from the Crenshaw/LAX rail line. The projected billion-dollar project will be funded in part by grants and other funds not yet identified by the city.

Trifelliti Consulting has been given the task of conducting community outreach to gain feedback from the residential and business community. So far the community supports the project.

“We have held community meetings and have over 80 support letters,” said Lisa Trifelleti, principal of Trifelleti Consulting at a recent City Council meeting. “Although I am not in possession of the letters now, I can provide them at a later time.”

Other residents are concerned the city is seeking to tax property owners for the project through a process known as creating a special tax district. Property owners within a given tax district are assessed taxes to pay for the project.

“Why can’t Inglewood follow the model used in the city of Las Vegas and have Stan Kroenke, Dean Spanos and Steve Ballmer pay for this connector as it will be only used to reach their properties,” said Tony Anderson, a long-time Inglewood resident and property owner.

In Las Vegas, the city built a monorail system that connected hotel guests aiming to avoid driving or walking down the Las Vegas Strip. Residents balked that the monorail would be primarily used by visitors to the city and said the hotel owners should bear the brunt of the costs. The project was ultimately privately financed.

The transit connector is a crucial component of the anticipated NBA arena planned at the intersection of Century Boulevard and Prairie Avenue for the Los Angeles Clippers. Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts said he is excited to see the first phase of this process begin.

“We have made significant progress on the [transit connector] project, including releasing the draft [environmental report] in December and securing over $328 million, or roughly one-third of the overall project costs in state grant funding and County Measure R funds,” Butts said. “Today marks another significant milestone in the development of the project. … This will give us the opportunity to work closely with the market to inform our procurement process and I look forward to hearing from the industry about cost-effective technology options the project can benefit from.”

The 1.6-mile-long project will consist of an elevated, fixed-guideway rail system providing direct connections to the Crenshaw/LAX rail Line, the Market Street business area, the Forum, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, and the soon-to-be-constructed Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center. The project will reduce traffic congestion and improve transit mobility for existing residents and produce tangible environmental and economic benefits for the city.

Although Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove, whose district covers a small section of Inglewood, carried the legislation to move the NBA arena forward, the area representative is also supportive of the transit connector and its meaning to Inglewood residents.

“The city of Inglewood is going through an incredible revitalization, and the Inglewood Transit Connector is key to meeting the transportation needs of the community and its visitors,” Assemblywoman Autumn Burke said. The [transit connector] will be a vital component to the continued economic growth of the city of Inglewood and the social benefits to the community will be immeasurable.”

To access and download these registration forms and the request for information documents, visit the city’s vendor portal at https://www.planetbids.com/portal/portal.cfm?CompanyID=45619 or via the project website at http://envisioninglewood.org/transportation-solutions/inglewood-transit-connector/ .

2 Urban Girls is a freelance reporter for Wave Newspapers who covers the Compton and Inglewood areas. She can be reached at 2urbangirls@gmail.com.