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Visiting the Gold Line Extension, Nearly Getting Hit by a Train

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As reported earlier this week, trains are now doing test runs along the new Gold Line Extension, which runs from 1st Street in Little Tokyo to Atlantic Avenue in Boyle Heights. On Sunday, we drove along the line, driving parallel with the trains as they rumbled down 1st Street, turned down 3rd street and then looped back after reaching Atlantic Avenue. But then something funny and nearly tragic happened on the way back to downtown. The two sets of lights near the Indiana stop--one set is before the tracks and the second set of lights is at the intersection--tripped us up. Rather than stop at the first set of lights, we stopped at the light (just a few yards away) at the intersection of Indiana Street, getting ready to make a right on red. But at that point our car was on the tracks. And a train was coming.

First off, as soon as we went through the first light near the Indiana stop, we realized we'd made a mistake (at this point, we can't remember whether 1. We didn't realize we'd gone through a red light. 2. It was a green light.)

Anyway, in times of confusion, one freezes. Once we crossed the first light, we froze, unsure whether to back up or keep going.

And when the train came around the corner, the front of our car was on the tracks. The train stopped. And we got the very slow, very annoyed head shake from the conductor. "Freakin' idiot" was the look we got.

Given our pompous attitude on the blog--ie who doesn't know how to drive or walk near train tracks is the mantra--we probably deserved to be hit.

But if we can make this mistake, can others? Maybe not. Maybe we're the only idiots in the whole city. But to illustrate the two sets of lights, see below. This is actually another set of two lights, just around the corner from where we were. This is facing 1st, on Indiana. The green light allows you to go forward, but then you're sitting on the tracks as you wait at the red light. So obviously, the first set of lights is timed to the train? Regardless, Metro representative Jose Ubaldo agreed to meet with us next week and talk more about the stop and what exactly we did wrong. He may beat us with an idiot stick, which we probably deserve.

But other than nearly getting hitting by a train, a very enjoyable ride along the Gold Line Extension.

Almost got hit here: