The Board took action on two other notable items on Thursday:
•The Board approved an item to help purchase 20 new rail cars for Metrolink with “crash energy management” technology that should help prevent fatalities in the event of a crash. The cars would be purchased as part of an order for 117 new rail cars made by Hyundai Rotem at a cost between $13 million and $16 million. Metro is going to negotiate an agreement with Metrolink to finance the purchase and then work with the four other counties that help fund Metrolink for them to provide their share of the price.
•The Board also approved a “Grade Safety Crossing Policy” by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who said the purpose of the policy was to include consideration of public safety and future economic development when deciding which crossings are at street level and which are grade separated by tunnel or bridge. Metro Deputy CEO Paul Taylor told the Board of Directors that the new policy is a “difference in emphasis, not substance.”
•And below is a couple of minutes of video of the Board of Directors’ vote on approving the alignment for the Westside Subway Extension. The video opens with Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian explaining why he’s voting for the subway — because it’s a tunnel he believes in, unlike the under-study tunnel for the 710 freeway gap. He is followed by Supervisor Don Knabe, who is the Metro Board Chairman, taking the vote.
Categories: Policy & Funding, Projects
Here’s the final version of Ridley-Thomas’ Grade Crossing motion. As trimmed down (with the help of the Mayor’s office, who became a co-sponsor) it shouldn’t change much from current practice.
Motion by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa
Item 25 Revised
Grade Crossing Safety Policy
The MTA Grade Crossing Policy for Light Rail Transit (the “Grade Crossing Policy”) was adopted by the Metro Board of Directors on December 4, 2003. The Policy was created to guide the evaluation of alternative grade crossing designs, and possible grade separation alternatives, where proposed light rail alignments cross major streets.
The Grade Crossing Policy incorporates many Industry-Standard technical reviews, including Influence Zone Queue and Crossing Spillback Queue at Grade analyses. These technical calculations provide a methodical process for analyzing the traffic flow impacts of grade separation alternatives.
It is appropriate that Metro periodically review the Grade Crossing Policy and make adjustments in response to community concerns and “lessons learned” from recent experience.
I THEREFORE MOVE, that the Metro Grade Crossing Policy for Light Rail Transit be revised as follows:
1. The name of the Policy shall be changed from “MTA Grade Crossing Policy for Light Rail Transit” to “Metro Grade Crossing Safety Policy.”
2. The narrative of the Policy shall be revised to include consideration of public safety and economic development.
3. Traffic flow analysis of grade crossing alternatives shall be calculated under three scenarios: 1) current automotive traffic levels, 2) traffic levels adjusted to reflect “natural growth” in traffic over 20 years, and 3) traffic levels adjusted to reflect the local jurisdiction’s land use forecasts within one half mile radius of each crossing over 20 years.
4. Final determination of each grade crossing or grade separation configuration will be made by the Metro Board of Directors in conjunction with approving project environmental documents. Each decision will be based on analysis consistent with current technical standards and methodologies, including consideration of public safety and economic development.
I can’t wait to ride the subway down Wilshire Blvd. someday soon!
I think it’ll be surreal when the line even extends to La Brea and people ride for the first time past Wilshire/Western.
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