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Expo Line Improvements Will Make It Safer, But Not Faster

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Changes are coming to the new DTLA-to-Culver City Expo Line light rail, but it's not the change many riders are hoping for. Many commuters carp about the way the train slows down between USC and South Park, where it runs at street-level and can, at times, hit many traffic lights, but the Metro board is putting speed on the back burner and focusing on safety, spending $287,500 on features meant to keep people from getting killed. The Los Angeles Times reports that the money will be used on new crosswalks, fencing, pedestrian warning signs, and traffic signals. The line will also get louder train horns--the locals will love that--and possibly, speed restrictions of 15 mph at certain crossings. The mayor pushed for the added safety measures, apparently encouraged by USC professor Najmedin Meshkati, who warned that some of Expo's crossings were accidents waiting to happen. One of Meshkati's biggest concerns was the crossing at Exposition and Rodeo, where the street divides into a weird X pattern that was confusing for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists even before the train arrived. "Plans call for 14 improvements to the crossing, including barriers, additional signage for bicyclists, audible warning signals, and directions for motorists and pedestrians," though Meshkati still isn't mollified.
· Complaints prompt Metro to improve Expo Line rail crossings [LA Times]
· Expo Safety Complaints Still Happening [Curbed LA]