Grade Crossing Policy Sparks Debate in Los Angeles

An op-ed by Los Angeles County Supervisor criticizes the Grade Crossing Policy employed by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority in the recent approval of a light rail extension.
February 12, 2010, 6am PST | Nate Berg
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The new light rail extension will travel through a previously underserved and dense part of the city, requiring many crossings at-grade. The proximity of the line to schools has many locals up in arms.

"Done right, the rail line could elevate the quality of life in some of Los Angeles' poorest neighborhoods; done poorly, it could become a literal roadblock to road traffic and a figurative one to desirable real estate development in several areas."

"If built with grade separations and attractive enhancements, a rail line could easily promote new development in a distressed area. But without proper community safeguards, a train can also be a nuisance that scares off anyone planning to build a commercial or residential development."

"When an engineering calculation produces results that are contrary to human intuition, and contradict the concerns of our constituents regarding the safety of their neighborhoods, then these technical calculations must be carefully reviewed, and revised where appropriate."

Thanks to James Brasuell

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Published on Monday, February 8, 2010 in The Planning Report
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