Expo Line Construction Authority asks residents to sign petition for approval of at-grade rail crossings

The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is scheduled on Nov. 10 to consider giving approval to the street crossings for the second phase of the Expo Line, which will run between Culver City and Santa Monica. It’s a big deal because the line recently had its groundbreaking and can’t open until the state gives a thumbs-up to the 27 crossings — 16 at street level and 11 below or above streets.

As part of the process, the Expo Line Construction Authority is asking people who support the project to sign an online petition asking the PUC to approve the crossings. The full list of grade crossings is after the jump.

Those with medium-range memories may recall that because of protests from the LAUSD and a community group, the PUC delayed giving approval to two of the at-grade crossings on the first phase of the Expo Line, leading to some delays and additional expenses in the project, including the addition of the Farmdale station outside Dorsey High School.

The second phase of the Expo Line underwent an almost three-year long environmental review, which included receiving and responding to more than 9,000 comments from the public. A lawsuit was filed by some homeowners in the Cheviot Hills area challenging the environmental review process and, in particular, the decision to put some rail crossings at street level. The suit was dismissed by a Superior Court judge and is now under appeal.

At this point, the at-grade crossings for the project have been approved by the city of Los Angeles, the city of Santa Monica, Metro and the staff of the PUC. The final hurdle is getting approval from the Commissioners who make the final decisions at the PUC. It’s a significant step toward keeping construction on track and opening the line by 2015, the targeted date. The second phase of the Expo Line — unlike the first — is being paid for predominantly by Measure R sales tax dollars (construction of the first phase began before Measure R was approved in 2008).

After the jump is a list of street crossings along the 6.7-mile line.

Table 1: Expo Phase 2 Crossing Information


Street/Crossing City Proposed CPUC Crossing No. Orientation Warning Devices **
1 Venice/Robertson Los Angeles 84S-107.50-B Grade-Separated
2 Bagely Ave Los Angeles 84S-107.90 At-Grade 9, 9E, Ped Gates
3 National/Palms Los Angeles 84S-108.30-B Grade-Separated
4 Motor Ave Los Angeles 84S-108.70-B Grade-Separated
5 I-10 Freeway Los Angeles 84S-108.90-A Grade-Separated
6 Overland Ave Los Angeles 84S-109.50 At-Grade 9, 9E, Ped Gates
7 Westwood Blvd Los Angeles 84S-109.80 At-Grade 9, 9E, Ped Gates
8 Military Ave Los Angeles 84S-110.10 At-Grade 9, 9E, Ped Gates
9 Sepulveda Blvd Los Angeles 84S-110.30-B Grade-Separated
10 Sawtelle Blvd Los Angeles 84S-110.50-B Grade-Separated
11 Pico Blvd Los Angeles 84S-110.70-B Grade-Separated
12 Barrington Ave Los Angeles 84S-111.10 At-Grade 9, 9E, Ped Gates
13 Bundy Dr Los Angeles 84S-111.40-B Grade-Separated
14 Centinela Ave Santa Monica 84S-111.60-B Grade-Separated
15 Stewart St Santa Monica 84S-112.10 At-grade 9, 9E, Ped Gates
16 26th St Santa Monica 84S-112.40 At-grade 9, 9E, Ped Gates
17 Cloverfield Blvd Santa Monica 84S-112.50-B Grade-Separated
18 Olympic Blvd Santa Monica 84S-112.60-B Grade-Separated
19 20th St Santa Monica 84S-112.80 At-Grade 9, 9E, Ped Gates
20 19th St Santa Monica 84S-112.90 At-Grade 9, 9E, Ped Gates
21 17th St/Colorado Santa Monica 84S-113.00 At-Grade Traffic Signals
22 14th St/Colorado Santa Monica 84S-113.20 At-Grade Traffic Signals
23 11th St/Colorado Santa Monica 84S-113.50 At-Grade Traffic Signals
24 Lincoln/Colorado Santa Monica 84S-113.70 At-Grade Traffic Signals
25 7th St/Colorado Santa Monica 84S-113.80 At-Grade Traffic Signals
26 6th St/Colorado Santa Monica 84S-113.85 At-Grade Traffic Signals
27 5th St/Colorado Santa Monica 84S-113.90 At-Grade Traffic Signals



6 replies

  1. I agree with Ray completely. These aren’t local tramways, these are regional rail lines. They need to be built with speed being a much more important factor. And with the Colorado segment there are so many problems its mind boggling. First, unless there is signal preemption, this section will be very slow yet its one of the most important segments of the line. Second, the conflict between cross traffic at Lincoln and at 5th will most likley cause further delays to the train for a few reasons: cars backing up onto the tracks, lack of any signal priority let alone preemption. Third, because the max speed is 30 mph in this segment, the operator will probably move the train at 20 to 25 mph most of the time trying to exercise extra caution.

    I actually hope Santa Monica residents show disapproval of the at-grade configuration along Colorado because this would force metro to actually make the right decision and keep it elevated (or trenched) and while it may take longer, we will end up with much better line. People wont say “why does their metro stop at lights, it acts just like a car” or “the metro is too slow, lets just drive”.

  2. Metro continues to cut corners with these at-grade crossings. We are building a permanent rail line. It should be built for safety and speed. Let’s not end up with another gold line debockel with having to run 60 mph capable trains at 20 mph. The expo line authority should have grade separated crenshaw and also near schools. Instead they will just run the trains at slow speeds. The expo rail line extension would be greatly improved with the following intersections grade separated: overland, Westwood, barrington, and 26th st.
    Go to Europe and you will see a completely grade separated rail system because they care about safety and speed. Only the tramways that run along with car traffic are not grade separated.

    • Hi Carol;

      Here’s the comments info from the CPUC website — just fyi the Expo case number is SX-100:

      To comment on proceedings or issues that the Commission is considering , please contact our Public Advisor’s Office at: CPUC Public Advisor, 505 Van Ness Avenue, Room 2103, San Francisco, CA 94102; or call 1-866-849-8390 or 1-415-703-2074; or email public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source