WATTS GREEN CORRIDORS PROJECT BACKGROUND: The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) and the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles (CRA-LA), in partnership with several local non-governmental organizations are applying to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for a joint planning and TIGER II discretionary transportation grant. The principle goal of this project is coordination of housing with transportation and associated livability improvements in Watts. The project seeks to improve pedestrian, public transit and bicycle infrastructure in Watts, by connecting housing and major economic development sites with the local and regional transit system through investments in physical infrastructure and planning. Transportation improvements will provide residents with safer and more convenient transportation options for accessing education, employment, health care and recreation. Watts has been an economically distressed area for several decades with poverty levels near 40 percent. A lack of adequate transportation is the most commonly identified barrier to employment and skills training by residents at the Jordan Downs Housing Development. PROJECT SUMMARY: The Project includes several bicycle and pedestrian-friendly streetscape enhancements, transit shelters, and bicycle lanes. It also includes safety enhancements, blight-removal, urban greening, lighting, and construction of cross-walks, medians and curb-extensions. These measures are planned throughout the project area and are focused on key activity nodes such as the 103rd Street Metro Rail station, the Los Angeles County Social Service building, the Employment Prep Center and several public schools. The project is also closely integrated with public housing. Watts has the largest concentration of public housing units in the City of Los Angeles, with a current total of 1,900 units and a planned expansion of an additional 1,000 units at Jordan Downs. With 1,054 units, Nickerson Gardens development is the largest single pubic housing development in the western half of the U.S. The project area also includes multiple-unit affordable housing and single-family homes The elements of the project have been coordinated with community needs and public policy initiatives for job-creation, education, environmental sustainability, public health and nutrition, child-care, recreation, public safety and aesthetics, art, culture and community heritage, and accessibility. The proposed project embodies the principles for Sustainable Communities promoted by USDOT, HUD and the Environmental Protection Agency.
LETTER OF SUPPORT
Shaun Donovan Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 451 Seventh St., SW Washington DC, 20410 Ray LaHood Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE Washington, DC 20590 Re: Letter of Support for Watts Green Corridors Project Dear Mr. Donovan and Mr. LaHood: On behalf of (Name of Organization or Business), I am writing in support of the TIGER II grant for improvements and planning in the Watts area of Los Angeles. The Watts Green Corridors Project will improve pedestrian, public transit and bicycle infrastructure in the Watts area of Los Angeles connecting public housing and major economic development sites with the local and regional transit system. Transportation improvements will provide residents of all ages safe, convenient access to transportation options for local trips and for access to the regional job market and education opportunities. The project also includes significant investment in planning related to the extension of Century Boulevard through the Jordan Downs public housing redevelopment which will improve transportation connectivity, allow for mixed-use development and improve safety in the area. Other planning efforts include the expansion of the Specific Plan which will update zoning and land use regulations which is needed in Watts. The transportation and housing elements of the work program are coordinated with closely- related community needs and public policy initiatives encompassing job-creation, education, environmental sustainability, public health and nutrition, child-care, recreation, land-use, public safety, cultural aesthetics, art, culture and community heritage. (Name of Organization or Business) supports this application and is confident that federal investment in the Watts community in Los Angeles will result in great outcomes. Sincerely, (Name) (Title)