South L.A. artery to get $120 million facelift

By Ray Richardson

Contributing Writer

SOUTH LOS ANGELES — A $120 million facelift is underway for the Manchester-Broadway Corridor that will improve pedestrian safety, transportation access, landscaping and other infrastructure components in the neighborhood.

The ultimate objective of the project, known as Broadway Sur, is to beautify the corridor to help stimulate local businesses, as well as making travel in the area safer for families, students, walkers and bike riders. Broadway Sur is located in the Eighth Council District.

“This plan was created in collaboration with community partners to benefit a historically underserved community,” Eighth District Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson said in a statement. “The enhancements, especially the introduction of lighting and concrete-protected bike lanes, are a direct response to the persistent traffic safety concerns that have plagued our community.”

Construction teams broke ground for Broadway Sur on Nov. 18. The project will impact a combined 2.8-mile stretch along Manchester Boulevard and Broadway. Enhancements on Manchester will cover areas between Vermont Avenue and Broadway. On Broadway, work will be done from Manchester heading south to Imperial Highway.

Funding for Broadway Sur was generated in part by Los Angeles’ Bureau of Street Services, better known as StreetsLA. The agency is taking a lead role in the work. Funding was also appropriated from the state, Los Angeles County and federal sources.

Nearly 1,300 residents in the Eighth District participated in meetings and events since Broadway Sur was proposed in 2015. The sessions gave residents an opportunity to give their input on what improvements should be made with the funding.

“The robust feedback gave us a vision,” Harris-Dawson said.

A key part of the scheduled work is improved lighting in the area for walkers and bike riders in the evening and the development of an “urban green atmosphere,” a concept that includes more grass in pedestrian areas and planting trees to provide shade.

Other enhancements planned are the creation of pedestrian signals and refuge islands, curb extensions and the upgrading of bus stop areas and access ramps on sidewalks for bike riders and wheelchair travelers.

The demographics in the Eighth District make many of Harris-Dawson’s constituents a logical fit for benefits of the Broadway Sur project.

“Streets are designed to move cars and trucks, but most of our community members don’t own cars and instead walk bike, or ride transit for their daily trips,” Harris-Dawson said. “Our streets also lack trees and green space to provide much-needed shade and help improve air quality to combat exposure from nearby freeways.”

The heavily populated Manchester-Broadway Corridor is bordered on the west by the Harbor (110) Freeway and on the south by the Glenn Anderson (105) Freeway.

Fourteen public schools serving approximately 9,000 students are within the corridor, which also is home to libraries, health care facilities and social service centers that serve residents in surrounding neighborhoods.

In addition to these facilities, a homeless services navigation center and four affordable housing projects are part of the corridor.

Ray Richardson is a contributing writer for The Wave. He can be reached at