The Los Angeles Clippers broke ground on their new arena on September 17 in the city of Inglewood. 2UrbanGirls revealed that in conjunction with the arena, and the congestion and traffic attached to it, the city will hold a special election on November 2, asking voters to raise certain taxes to fund the operation and construction of the people mover. The people mover will run down Market Street, around Manchester, and has stops planned for all three entertainment and sports venues.
The initially map we published failed to identify a direct link to the Clippers Arena. We have since found that map which you can find below.
The initial environmental impact report for the arena came out in late 2019, detailing a slew of mitigation suggestions to address concerns related to traffic congestion, including widening freeway offramps, shuttles, and a park and ride program, to name a few.
Six months earlier, in mid 2018, ABC 7 reported the city was exploring a feasibility study to address the traffic concerns, which is when we first heard of an automated people mover:
The city [Inglewood] will explore a feasibility of a 1.8-mile elevated transit system to bring commuters to the Forum, the new NFL stadium and possible new Los Angeles Clippers arena.
The people-mover would tie into the future Metro Crenshaw/LAX light-rail transit station.
Each venue along Prairie Avenue would have its own stop. According to a city report, the proposed people-mover would be automated and take 13 minutes for a round trip.
Around the same time, in 2018, CurbedLA reported the transit connector would connect to the Clippers Arena.
Two years later, in mid 2020, the Inglewood city council approved the environmental study related to the arena, despite objections by state legislators.
A letter authored in June 2019 by State Assemblymembers Al Muratsuchi, Laura Friedman, Cristina Garcia, and Kevin McCarty argued that the project will in fact result in increased traffic and air pollution relative to the current Clippers arena – Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles.
The biggest hurdle with the construction of the people mover are the costs, and who would foot the bill.
The city was initially planning to hold a special election, in March of this year, to create a citywide tax district to fund the people mover, but Trifiletti Consulting pulled the application from consideration.
GatewayLA.org reported in early 2021, that the city was piecemealing the funds together with grant funds, Measure R proceeds, and an increased ticket tax on Clippers tickets to pay for construction and operating costs.
Upon completion in 2026/2027, the project will connect passengers between Metro’s Crenshaw/LAX Line to Inglewood’s major activity centers. Project funds committed to date include a $95 million grant award from the California State Transportation Agency’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program, $233.7 million in Measure R Highway Funds unanimously approved by the South Bay Cities Council of Governments, and an increased ticket tax from the LA Clippers’ Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center.
Last month, in a twist, Inglewood declared a fiscal emergency, and called for a special election to raise “certain taxes” to continue to provide residents with basic services for keeping the city clean, gang intervention programs, emergency services.
Buried in the staff report was a memo from Keyser Marston identifying two taxes the city could consider increasing to use towards the operation and construction costs. The memo was sent to the city’s consultant two weeks prior to the council calling for the special election to raise those taxes.
2UrbanGirls has searched high and low for this map which clearly shows the people mover being extended to the Clippers Arena, for what is presumed to address congestion and traffic concerns directly related to the project.
The map on envisioninglewood.org doesn’t show the stop planned for the Clippers Arena, but the map on CurbedLA doesn’t. The map shows the people mover doesn’t connect to anything south of the Clippers arena, so the only conclusion you can draw is it’s sole purpose is for the Forum, SoFi Stadium, and the arena.
Mayor Butts is a stop planned for the Clippers Arena or not? More importantly, why are you asking taxpayers to subsidize it?