The street starts at Wilshire Boulevard in Hancock Park and runs through several demographically diverse areas to end in Rolling Hills. Tracks for the No. 5 Los Angeles Railway "yellow" streetcars in the 1920s through 1950s ran in the median between Leimert Boulevard on the north to near Florence Ave on the south. Since the abandonment of the streetcars, the former railway median has been narrowed, the driving lanes improved and the street reconfigured. Many residents were disappointed to see 71 mature trees chopped down to make way for the Space Shuttle Endeavour to be moved from LAX to the California Science Center. Additional trees were to be removed for the under constructed Crenshaw/LAX Line, but various officials have promised an aesthetically cohesive boulevard with more trees being planted than were removed.
The name "Crenshaw" has become associated with African-American culture because it traverses a large black community. Crenshaw Boulevard has been mentioned in rap songs by artists Eminem, Eazy-E, Nas, 2Pac, Montell Jordan, DJ Quik, Raekwon from the Wu-Tang Clan, Dr. Dre, Skee-Lo, The Game, Nipsey Hussle, Dom Kennedy, MC Allergy, and The Pharcyde.
The street also has a history of Sunday night "gatherings", where a large number of cars would meet up. However, due to a police crackdown, this tradition has now declined.
Metro Local lines 40 and 210, Metro Rapid lines 710 and 740, and Torrance Transit line 10 serve Crenshaw Boulevard; Metro lines 210 and 710 run through the majority of Crenshaw Boulevard to Artesia Boulevard, Metro lines 40 and 740 from Crenshaw District to Hyde Park, and Torrance Transit line 10 south of Artesia Boulevard. The Metro Green Line serves a station on Crenshaw Boulevard underneath Interstate 105, while the Expo Line serves a station at the intersection with Exposition Boulevard.
In the Crenshaw district, Crenshaw Boulevard and Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza are served primarily by LADOT trolleys, buses and trains in the future, for four Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus lines:
- Metro Local Line 40 - South Bay Galleria - Patsaouras Transit Plaza via Hawthorne Boulevard and Martin Luther King Boulevard
- Metro Local Line 210 - South Bay Galleria - Vine Red Line Station via Crenshaw Boulevard, Rossmore Avenue, and Vine Street
- Metro Rapid Line 710 - South Bay Galleria - Western Purple Line Station via Redondo Beach Boulevard and Crenshaw Boulevard
- Metro Rapid Line 740 - South Bay Galleria - Crenshaw Expo Line Station
Crenshaw Boulevard is also briefly served in the Crenshaw district by the following LACMTA lines:
Crenshaw Boulevard is also briefly served in the Crenshaw district by the following LADOT lines:
- Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza
- Crenshaw High School
- Leimert Plaza Park
- Los Angeles Sentinel
- Maverick's Flat
- Tom Bradley Post Office
- Christopher Hawthorne, "Crenshaw Boulevard comes to a crossroads", Los Angeles Times, September 15, 2012.
- Los Angeles Railway in Brief - Map of Streetcar Routes
- 5 Line
- Jennings, Angel "Tree removal along Crenshaw has residents stumped" Los Angeles Times, March 30, 2014
- Parra, Alvaro "Crenshaw Boulevard: Cruising Through the Decades" KCET, October 23, 2014
- "Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor (project website)". Metro (LACMTA). June 27, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-11.