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Eyes on the Street: New Metro Blue/Expo Line Train Gate

1:50 PM PST on February 16, 2018

Metro has installed this new gate to prevent cars from illegally turning left into trains. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

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Metro is working to make the Blue Line faster and more reliable. One improvement already on the ground is a new crossing gate, which prevents cars from crashing into trains when illegally turning left from Flower Street onto the eastbound 10 Freeway.  This 10 Freeway on-ramp has been the site of numerous cars crashing into Metro trains, including this May 2015 crash documented by SBLA Communities Editor Sahra Sulaiman.

When it is car vs. train, the car will lose every time. The young man in white with the backpack is the driver. Sahra Sulaiman/Streetsblog L.A.
Car vs. train collision at the 10 on-ramp site in 2015 . Sahra Sulaiman/Streetsblog L.A.

See this November 2017 Urbanize article for documentation of more crashes at the site, and for more information on the installation and testing of the crossing arm.

At yesterday's Metro board System Safety, Security and Operations Committee, staff mentioned the new gate arm as they presented a series of Blue Line improvements that the agency is terming "The New Blue" (more on this below).

Metro staff has additional street improvements under consideration for the Blue Line's street-running sections in downtown L.A. and in Long Beach. Metro staff stated that they will be working with LADOT to finalize projects on Flower Street and Washington Boulevard.

Overall, the operational improvements are targeting a ten-minute reduction in Blue Line end-to-end trips.

Another photo of the new Blue/Expo Line gate in action. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
Another photo of the new Blue/Expo Line gate in action. Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

The New Blue project will be mostly rehabilitating the 28-year-old Blue Line. It includes new tracks and major upgrades to the Rosa Parks Blue/Green Line Station. Metro staff reported that, though final details are still being worked out, project construction is anticipated to include eight months of partial closures on the line. This includes a four-month closure of the Long Beach to Rosa Parks portion, followed by a four-month closure from Rosa Parks to downtown Los Angeles. Multiple bus bridge services will transport Blue Line riders while the line is closed. The closures are expected to begin in early 2019.

SBLA will be covering more aspects of Metro's The New Blue as they become clearer in the months ahead; for now see articles at Urbanize, The Source, and the Metro staff presentation.

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