Does Metrolink Disaster Point to Need for Grade Separated Expo?

9_25_08_rosendahl.gifYesterday afternoon, the City Council Transportation Committee heard testimony about the response of emergency responders to the September 12th Metrolink crash.  Towards the end of the hearing, a fiery Bill Rosendahl sounded off about the need to place a higher priority on safety when building new rail projects.  His comments were clearly directed at the Expo Construction Authority, and were later echoed by community leaders during open testimony:

We need to reconsider what’s important.  I don’t want to hear ever again ‘it’s cheaper to build it at grade’ or ‘it’s faster to build it at grade.’  I don’t care about the price, I want to hear about the safety.

After testimony from Fix Expo, Neighbors for Smart Rail, and representatives from the South and Westside Neighborhood Councils, Jay Handal of the Greater West Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce summarized the commenter’s thoughts:

How many deaths will it take to get the job done right?

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Fear of Federal Oversight Imperils Expo Bikeway

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Westsiders Vent at Last Night’s Expo Meeting

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  Last night the Expo Construction Authority held a community meeting in the Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services Gymnasium, right in the heart of a community that has historically been opposed to construction of Phase II of the Expo Line.  As expected, it was hard to find a supporter of extending light rail […]