Update on “Eastside Safety Ride” Next Friday

11_6_09_lahood.jpgRay LaHood likes the Eastside Extension…but will we? Image: The Fastlane

One week from today the Eastside Bike Club, Streetsblog and the Bus Bench will meet at the Union Station Entrance to bike the six-mile Gold Line Extension to document what we see concerning crossings and safety.  I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the ride, so I’m going to answer as many of them as I can here.

If you have other questions, put them in the comments section, and I’ll answer them in the body of the article.

What’s the point of doing this ride anyway?

There’s been a lot of controversy over safety issues with the opening of the Gold Line Extension.  When there’s a complaint or suggestion, the answers have either been that they’re going to fix that before the opening or that the person complaining was probably doing their nails and breaking the law.  We’re going to ride at street level, witness what the crossings look like at rush hour and come to our own conclusions.  

Why so close to the line’s opening?  Won’t that minimize the impact of your findings?

This isn’t planned as an advocacy ride, more of a fact finding mission.  By riding so close to the line’s opening we’re giving Metro as much time as we can to make all the improvements that they can.

When did you start hating/stop trusting Metro?

I don’t hate Metro.  I actually think light rail is one of the safest forms of transit.  But, that doesn’t mean we have to take everything they say at face value.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up really liking all the improvements and changes that have taken place over the last couple of months.

What’s the route?

The route is super simple.  We’ll ride south to the Little Tokyo stop then head east on 1st Street all the way to the Indiana stop.  Then we’ll head east on Third until the light rail ends at the Atlantic Ave. stop.

What do I have to do to join the ride?

Nothing.  Just show up at the entrance to Union Station by 7:30 next Friday.  If you’re under 18, you’re required to wear a helmet.  Other than that, I trust you to decide how to protect yourself and if you’re ready to ride East L.A. at morning rush hour.