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Metro plans to build rail lines in South Bay area met by strong pushback from residents

Plan to build two new rail lines in South Bay met with pushback from residents
Plan to build two new rail lines in South Bay met with pushback from residents 03:08

As Metro plans to build two rail lines through the South Bay, residents are banding together to contend the proposed new operations. 

The C Line expansion plan to build the lines through Torrance, Lawndale and Redondo Beach has incited the outrage of many in recent months, especially with some of their homes backing up to the proposed tracks. 

Metro officials say they would use the right of way of an old freight line to run the light rail and freight cross for a 4.5-mile extension running north and south through the area, hoping to connect the C (Green) Line to the impacted communities. 

On Saturday, Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell held a walkthrough of the two proposed sites. 

"Everybody has an opinion," she said, speaking with KCAL News. "The goal of today was to make sure that people had factual information and neighbor-to-neighbor they could have conversations."

One major concern for residents is the proximity of one of the stops, impacting hundreds of people living in the area. 

"The last train would leave at midnight, and arrive in Torrance at about 1, 1:30 a.m.," said one woman who lives nearby. "So, from 4 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., every five minutes during rush hour and every 12 hours off-peak, equalling two to three hundreds trains per day."

A longstanding point of contention, which remains under investigation, is the alleged discovery of the gravesite of a World War II soldier buried in the back of one of the Lawndale homes that the expansion route would cut directly through.

But their biggest sticking point is the safety concerns that come with so many trains running through their area daily, with the possibility of derailment at the front of mind. 

Though officials maintain that the rail would revitalize business in the area, residents aren't ready to buy in. 

Related: Metro extension once halted by grave marker faces new issue

"I think the answer should be none of the above, cause I question the ridership numbers that they put out," said one man. "I've lived in the South Bay for 40 years and I've yet to meet the first person, in my circle, that commutes from Torrance to downtown LA."

Supervisor Mitchell halted a planned vote in September where the route was going to be selected due to the rampant concerns and questions that many residents had.

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