Expo Line will be Safe: It’s a Fact
Originally appeared on LA CityWatch 4/24/09 (their title).
Simple fact checking refutes the “Fix Expo” contentions about the Expo
Line’s safety, equity, and funding (4/10/09 CityWatch).
The Expo Line follows the safe standard of mostly-at-grade light rail in many cities: 35 mph under signal control in boulevard medians, 55 mph with gated crossings on private fenced right-of-way, and bridges or underpasses specified where required for cross traffic or topography.
Recent local precedents of at-grade light rail are the Pasadena Gold Line, which has had an excellent safety record since opening in 2003, and the Eastside Gold Line, opening later this year. Other cities that have opened similar lines in the last few years include Phoenix, San Francisco, Portland, Salt Lake City, Houston, Minneapolis, and Charlotte.
Finding at-grade light rail more pedestrian-friendly, the City of Santa
Monica requested and the Expo Authority just approved that option along
Colorado Avenue. Santa Monica’s 3/2/09 city council report noted, “Street-level
rail corridors provide greater opportunities over time for retail businesses,
an enhanced pedestrian environment and walkable connections to the neighborhoods.”
The California Public Utilities Commission approved the safety of all
but one proposed crossing on the Expo Line. That remaining one by Dorsey
High will have a pedestrian bridge instead of a gated crossing.