Compton officials have won a little breathing room in their battle to gain revisions in the Los Angeles-to-Long Beach light rail transit project, which is girding for construction through the heart of downtown.
After transit officials obtained a Los Angeles Superior Court order directing Compton to issue pre-construction permits, an appeals court delayed the action until city legal experts have a chance to argue that the writ of mandate is improper. Chief Deputy City Atty. Legrand H. Clegg III said this week that no date has been set for the appeals court session.
For years, city officials have wanted the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission to either raise or lower the light rail tracks through Compton so passing trolleys will not block automobile traffic through the downtown business district. City officials also want to divert freight traffic, which now runs along the light rail corridor directly in front of City Hall.
Last December, seven freight cars derailed while passing by City Hall in what officials said could have been a major disaster. As it was, no one was injured, although the city's largest shopping center was closed--at the height of the Christmas season--until the wreckage was cleared.
City officials have a pending complaint against the transit commission with the state Public Utilities Commission and want no work done on rail construction until it is settled.