By a 4-1 vote the state Public Utilities Commission approved one proposal, while denying another, for two street-crossings along the Expo Line, whose trains will eventually travel a rail corridor connecting downtown L.A. to Santa Monica. An L.A.Times report notes that in October a PUC judge had recommended at a minimum the two crossings -- both located near South Los Angeles schools -- come with pedestrian bridges. However, under intense pressure from the Expo Line Construction Authority, the PUC has now allowed tracks situated near the Foshay Learning Center to run atop an existing pedestrian tunnel. The PUC required that at the other crossing, near Dorsey High School, an enclosed foot bridge be erected over the tracks. This will result in Farmdale Avenue being closed to through vehicular traffic near the school.
Opponents of any at-grade (street-level) crossings for the two locations are far from
pleased. Yesterday, Damien Goodmon, a coordinator from the Citizens
Campaign to Fix the Expo Rail Line, released a statement complaining
that the Expo Line Construction Authority and the Metropolitan Transit
Authority were using a former Enron lobbyist, Sandra McCubbin, to
derail the October recommendations placed before the PUC. (McCubbin is
also a former PUC director.) Today Goodmon issued a statement that
seemed to move past the previous two years of contentious community
debate, while leaving open the door for future combat:
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more firmly recognize that the only changes that will occur at Foshay
or at other crossings along the line, will need to be obtained
politically or through other legal courts."