Transportation headlines, Wednesday, September 4

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the Library’s Transportation Headlines online newspaper, which you can also access via email subscription (visit the newspaper site) or RSS feed.

Reducing train deaths is the goal of new program (San Gabriel Valley Tribune) 

Coverage of yesterday’s news conference by Metro and Metrolink to promote Rail Safety Month. Excerpt:

Whether they are vehicles negotiating a grade crossing, pedestrians who stumble into an oncoming train, or a person committing suicide, the issue of train safety is becoming more important as Southern California experiences additional freight trains moving goods from the ports and adds new passenger lines in South L.A. the Westside, and the foothills of the San Gabriel Valley.

All told, more people and more drivers will be exposed to trains in the next five years, a potential safety disaster, especially in a region whose populace is more familiar with cars and freeways than locomotives and rails.

“Remember, a train operator can’t turn out of the way,” explained Jeff Lustgarten, spokesman for Metrolink. “A train could take as much as a half mile to stop.”

California leads all states in the number of fatalities in highway-rail grade crossings, according to Metro and Metrolink. Many are from vehicles hit by Union Pacific trains, the largest railroad in the state.

Video from the news conference is here. And here are recent Metro rail accident statistics.

Long Beach sharrows experiment seems to show drop in crashes (Long Beach Press Telegram)

These sharrows are unusual — they are a wide green stripe down the middle of the right lane on 2nd Avenue. And stats released by the city show a drop in vehicular and bike accidents since 2009. Do the sharrows deserve the credit? Hard to say, but the results are good nonetheless.

Wait continues for Perris Valley Line grant (Riverside Press-Enterprise) 

The 24-mile extension of the Riverside Metrolink line needs a $75-million grant from the Federal Transit Administration in order to be fully funded. Officials were hoping to have heard yes or no by now — but that appears to have been pushed back. Meanwhile, a new survey seems to show that area citizens and funders of the FTA really want transportation improvements.