Riding safely on new Expo Line bike lanes

Bike Lane crossing over Expo tracks at Gramercy Place.

The first phase of the Expo Line officially opens Saturday, April 28, and the 5.9 miles of Expo bike lanes running parallel to the project are a welcome addition to the Los Angeles County bikeway network. Metro hopes the new rail line proves to be a success with riders of all types.

The Expo Line’s parallel bike lanes should also help foster multi-modal bike commuting and create easy east-west cycling connections. Ample bicycle parking at stations also will be available.

Several local bicycle blogs have raised concerns about safety along the route, particularly where the lane crosses the railroad tracks at Exposition and Gramercy, approximately one mile west of USC. We’re happy to report that the city of Los Angeles’ transportation department — known as LADOT — recently added new roadway markings and signage to improve this crossing, including a limit line and a bicycle symbol.

Riders are still encouraged to proceed with caution, because, as cyclists well know, train tracks can be tricky and cyclists need to avoid getting their wheels stuck or turned sidewise in the tracks’ wheel wells.

Always ride across tracks as close to a 90 degree angle as possible, and cyclists should take extra caution if it’s raining, slick or if their tires are of the extremely skinny variety. Cyclists should always obey all traffic signs and signals, including roadway lane markings. Ride predictably, and always in the same direction as traffic. And of course, never ever cross tracks when crossing lights and arms are activated.

Below, we’ve included some sound advice from our friends at the LADOT bike blog to keep everyone riding safely:

“When approaching this intersection eastbound, be sure to watch for trains and adhere to all traffic and warning signals. If the light is red, be sure to stop behind the limit line (this will position you on-top of a loop detector, which alerts the traffic signal that a bicycle is present). When the train clears and the light turns green, follow the bike lane to cross the Expo Line tracks, which will continue along Exposition Blvd. heading east.” (Westbound riders will not encounter this particular issue, as the path does not cross the tracks).

You can also watch a video of the LADOT team riding the path in its entirety.


Categories: Bicycle, Projects

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