Los Angeles, CA: County-wide safety improvement programme

28 Sep

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors on September 24th, 2015, approved the contract for the Los Angeles County Grade Crossing and Corridor Safety Program, authorizing engineering studies to identify potential safety improvements at approximately 153 pedestrian and vehicular at-grade crossings along 160 miles of Metro-owned right-of-way in Los Angeles County.

The program is part of a three-year, USD3.87 million contract that was awarded to the engineering firm AECOM. The programme will establish a comprehensive strategy for level crossing safety on Metro-owned rights-of-way currently operated by the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) for the Metrolink commuter rail service. It will identify opportunities to address trespassing and other issues that would enhance safety, including locations where level crossings could be grade-seperated.

“Safety will always be Metro’s number one priority,” said Metro CEO Phil Washington. “Our responsibility as the region’s largest transportation agency is to develop programs like this one to identify areas where we can implement additional safety enhancements along our rail corridors and potentially save lives.”

The overall programme will also include an analysis of methods to prevent unauthorized access to the railway right-of-way through enforcement, fencing, and the application of advanced technology. In addition, state and federal grant opportunities will be explored as a means of funding these enhancements.

The Grade Crossing and Corridor Safety Program will supplement SCRRA’s Sealed Corridor Program. Implemented in 2006, the program has enabled SCRRA to upgrade several crossings with state-of-the-art equipment, including in some cases, enhanced pedestrian treatments, four-quadrant gates, and advanced preemption.

The approval of the programme coincides with California Rail Safety Month, a month-long public education campaign occuring every September headed by the non-profit public safety organization California Operation Lifesaver. The goal of the organization is to reduce the number of tragic incidents at highway-rail grade crossing intersections and trespassing on railroad tracks. More information can be found at www.caol.us.

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