Parks Defends Blue Line Accidents

Posted by Fix Expo Team

Apparently, the Expo Authority has shifted their strategy from denying they're building another Blue Line through South LA to promoting the safety record of the Blue Line, which remains the most accident-prone and deadly light rail line in the country. The overwhelming majority of the accidents have occurred in the segment designed exactly like the Expo Line from Downtown LA to Arlington.

At the Expo Authority board meeting, just minutes after they unanimously approved a measure to study what they've already studied (costs to grade separate Farmdale), Bernard Parks gave a 5 minute speech promoting the safety of the Blue Line and efforts of MTA. In his speech Bernie get the facts wrong. There have been 172 accidents and 28 deaths on the Blue in the past 5 years, and over 796 accidents and 88 deaths in the 17 years of operation. The low over that span of time was 27 in 2005, and the high was 40 in 2004. (SOURCE: MTA's own Summary of Blue Line Train/Vehicle and Train/Pedestrian Accidents)

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Here is a picture from one of the Blue Line accidents on the Flower Street portion just 6 weeks ago:

And last December, here is the collision with the fire truck at a crossing exactly designed as the Expo Blvd portion from just west of Figueroa to just east of Arlington, where purportedly according to Parks and the MTA all the safety enhancement that can be implemented for an at-grade crossing has been implemented.

Here are pictures of the victims (passengers on the Blue Line) of MTA's mistake to not grade separate the crossing (courtesy the LAFD):

At-grade crossings with trains that are scheduled to operate 240 times a day at speeds between 35-55 mph are accidents waiting to happen. MTA knows it, Councilman Parks knows it, and they're willing to accept it near our schools, parks and in our communities.

Call Councilman Parks and ask him why he refuses to stand up for the safety of the children, pedestrians and motorists of Los Angeles:


City Hall
200 North Spring Street
Room 460
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213-473-7008 (Phone)
213-485-7683 (Fax)

District Office
3847 S. Crenshaw Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90008
323-293-9467 (Phone)
323-293-3696 (Fax)

UPDATE: Waiting to hear back from the USDOT as to whether they consider the widely recognized Guidance on Traffic Control Devices at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings and definition of life cycle cost "dated," along with information on their secret government transit funding program called "Fresh Starts."

Here is the initial letter requesting Thorpe defend his constant use of the Gold Line analogy: Clarifying Expo Line Comparisons (70K pdf).

Here's Thorpe's reply: Thorpe's Reply to Clarifying Expo Line Comparisons (87K)
(To summarize, "I will not admit I am building a Blue Line...I will not admit I am building a Blue Line...")

Nonetheless, Bernie seems to have forgotten that when presented the Thorpe reply openly during the public comment period at the August Expo board meeting, Yvonne Burke directed Thorpe to actually answer the questions.

What an utterly desperate attempt to reply to the political blow back of his refusal to stand up for the safety of the children and people in his district.