CPUC Decision on Farmdale and Harvard

Commissioner Chong's Revised Proposed Alternate Decision adopted by the CPUC concludes on Farmdale:

We find it is practicable to construct a grade-separated pedestrian bridge and close the roadway to traffic at Farmdale Avenue, because the grade-separated pedestrian bridge will eliminate the potential safety hazards of large number of school age pedestrians crossing the road at-grade. Further, we find that closing Farmdale Avenue will not cause adverse unmitigable impacts and is therefore feasible. We also find that the cost of constructing the pedestrian bridge (closed at Farmdale) is cost-effective. Therefore, we deny Expo Authority's request to construct an at-grade crossing at Farmdale. (page 30)

Though we deny the application for the proposed crossings at Farmdale, we cannot authorize the construction of any of the alternative design options. The analysis provided by Expo Authority of the of the various design options for Farmdale was an integral and helpful part of our review; and, we also recognize that Expo Authority cooperated fully with all of the directives of the assigned Commissioner and ALJ by providing all requested information, analyses, and reports related to the design options. However, these analyses and reports do not include all of the necessary information required by our rules for application of a rail crossing at Farmdale.

In order to expedite the processing of any future requests for crossings at Farmdale, this proceeding will remain open to allow Expo Authority to file any amendments or a new application for that purpose. (page 38)

On Harvard:

The tunnel crossing presents many problems not directly related to the actual interface of the rail right-of-way and vehicles and pedestrians. These problems include the safety and security of students and others using the tunnel, and very limited hours of access. However, these problems related to the tunnel were preexisting and are not caused by the Expo Rail. From a safety point of view, the rail crossing will not interface with the Harvard tunnel and does not affect the 250 pedestrians who use the tunnel.

Accordingly, there is already a grade-separated crossing that provides for adequate separation of pedestrians and rail operations at Harvard Boulevard. As noted above, we do not consider the practicability of a grade separation here because the interface of the rail line and the Harvard tunnel are already completely separated. Moreover, our own CPSD staff have found the grade-separated crossing to comply with our safety requirements. (page 34)

Therefore, we reject the arguments by LAUSD as to the adequacy and safety of the Harvard tunnel crossing and approve the grade-separated crossing at Harvard, with the requirements that: (1) Expo Authority submit a plan to CPSD for making improvements to the tunnel within 90 days such as increasing lighting and installation of surveillance cameras; (2) Expo Authority install a locked gate along the fence of the Exposition Boulevard median and provide keys to security personnel for Foshay; and (3) require the train operator to slow the light rail trains to 35 mph or slower when passing the Harvard tunnel area during school crossing hours. Construction may begin upon issuance of this decision. (pages 36-7)

Note that trains are already limited to 35 mph here, running in the median of Exposition Blvd.

LA Times blog link


Home   Back to News