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27 METRO is currently planning a system expansion using the As a result primarily of the photo enforcement, LACMTA in-roadway lights and signage that have resulted in a decrease has controlled collisions at gated crossings. The issues cur- in collisions. rently are LRVmotor vehicle collisions at non-gated inter- sections when the motorist makes an illegal left turn in front of a train traveling in the same direction. This type of collision LOS ANGELES COUNTY METROPOLITAN makes up the majority of their collisions. Another scenario, TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY-- METRO BLUE LINE which occurs less frequently, is the "two-train scenario." This scenario might occur when motorists, in the left-turn pocket, The LACMTA Metro Blue Line opened in 1990, extending see an on-coming train and think they can beat the train 22 miles from downtown Los Angeles to downtown Long through the crossing. The motorists make the left turn and are Beach. About 6.48 miles of the Metro Blue Line is street- struck by a train approaching from behind. running, the majority of which is median-running (Figure 30), with less than 1 mile of side-running operations. There are Mitigation Strategies approximately 28 crossings with gates and 62 without gates, all of which are actively controlled. The trains operate at LACMTA has found all of the following strategies to be 35 mph in the street-running sections of the alignment. effective in mitigation collisions between LRVs and motor vehicles at signalized intersections: Collision History · Police enforcement. During a grade crossing safety In the 3 years from its July 1990 opening through late improvement program initiated by LACMTA in the June 1993, LACMTA experienced 158 LRVmotor vehi- mid-1990s, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Depart- cle collisions at the 100 crossings on the 22-mile Blue Line. ment Transit Services Bureau established a traffic detail According to LACMTA, most of the collisions were caused to provide for increased enforcement of traffic viola- by motorists making illegal left-hand turns into the path tions at grade crossings along the Metro Blue Line. Sev- of moving trains, including motorists driving around gates eral factors, including accident experience, responses to and motorists ignoring or failing to see red "No Left Turn" train operator surveys, and locations with broken gate signs on street-running portions of the Blue Line, where arms were analyzed to determine how best to deploy the traffic signals are used instead of crossing gates. In response, deputies. The traffic detail deputies wrote 7,760 citations LACMTA instituted its Grade Crossing Safety Improvement in 90 days. Based on the success of this demonstration Program in 1992 as an effective method to discourage illegal program, the MTA continued the Sheriff's grade cross- automotive and pedestrian movements. As part of this pro- ing safety detail for 2 years, resulting in the issuance of gram, LACMTA demonstrated increased police presence over 14,000 citations (19). along the rail line; high-resolution photo enforcement sys- · Photo enforcement. LACMTA began using photo tems at four crossings; a wayside horn system; illuminated enforcement in the 1990s at gated crossings in an attempt signage for pedestrians and motor vehicles; standardized to reduce the risky behavior of motorists driving around warning devices, signs, signals, and pavement markings gates. As a result, they have controlled collisions at gated for LRT; and education and public awareness programs for crossings. In 2004, they expanded this practice to six schools, churches, community groups, and businesses along non-gated crossings at signalized intersections. They the Metro Blue Line (18). installed nine cameras at these six intersections along with static signs in advance of the intersections that warn drivers of the photo enforcement. Drivers are cited for running red left-turn arrows whether a train is approaching or not. As a result of LACMTA's enforce- ment efforts, accidents caused by motorists making ille- gal left turns have been reduced by 62% since left-turn enforcement began in 2004 (15). However, they still have drivers running red-turn arrows. · LRV-activated train-approaching warning signs. At major intersections, LACMTA has dedicated left- turn pockets and protected left-turn phasing. In 2000, LRV-activated train-approaching warning signs for left-turning traffic at these major intersections were added at the end of the cantilever mast arm in the Los Angeles street-running segment (as shown in Figure 30). FIGURE 30 Los Angeles Metro Blue Line (Courtesy: Los The use of the LRV-activated train-approaching warning Angeles County MTA). signs was expanded to the Long Beach street-running