LA County Receives Reconnecting Communities Grants

Seven grant awards totaling $162 million will be used for planning, capital projects, and regional partnerships to reduce environmental harm and improve access in disadvantaged communities.

2 minute read

April 16, 2024, 11:00 AM PDT

By Clement Lau

Aerial view of Macarthur Park lake with downtown Los Angeles skyline in background.

MacArthur Park near downtown Los Angeles is bisected by Wilshire Boulevard. Now, the two sides of the park will be reunited thanks in part to a Reconnecting Communities grant. | Marcus Jones / Adobe Stock

Administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods (RCN) Program seeks to: 

  • Prioritize disadvantaged communities; 
  • Improve access to daily needs such as jobs, education, healthcare, food, and recreation; 
  • Foster equitable development and restoration; 
  • Reconnect communities by removing, retrofitting, or mitigating highways or other transportation facilities that create barriers to community connectivity, including to mobility, access, or economic development. 

As reported by Joe Linton in this article, RCN grants totaled $237 million for California. Of that, L.A. County secured about two-thirds: $162 million. Over 90 percent of this funding goes to Metro, nearly all of that for one $139 million grant to fund 14 miles of bus priority lanes, 23 miles of bus corridor enhancements (i.e. transit signal priority, all door boarding, and bus shelters), 60 Metro Bike Share stations plus first-last-mile improvements, and five mobility hubs.

Three of the grants for L.A. County seek to reconnect and/or expand parkland, including:

  1. $800,000 to L.A. County for the Reconnecting East Los Angeles: 60 Green Bridge Project for Belvedere Park - planning. The county will plan for a cap to be developed over the 60 Freeway bridging the two sides of Belvedere Park, near the East L.A. Civic Center, the current terminus of the Metro E Line.
  2. $2 million to L.A. City for Reconnecting MacArthur Park - planning. Championed by L.A. City Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez, this project would plan for permanently closing Wilshire Boulevard from Alvarado Street to Carondelet Street and bridging the two sides of MacArthur Park.
  3. $3.6 million to Friends of Hollywood Central Park (FHCP) for Healing Hollywood - planning. The nonprofit organization FHCP is planning a large scale (37.6 acre) park capping the 101 Freeway, which will include five miles of walk/bike paths and more.

For more information, please read the source article.

Monday, March 18, 2024 in Streetblog LA

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