Two Gold Line Train Versus Auto Collisions in One Day

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by LA1 News

   Two collisions occurred today in Highland Park involving Gold Line light rail trains and automobiles. The first crash happened at about 1:00 p.m., as described to LA1 News by local resident and Franklin High School alumnus Humberto "Beto" Rodriguez. This crash involved an eastbound train and a clean midnight blue Cadillac Deville, driven by a male who walked away with a leg abrasion wound. For a period of time after the crash both directions of Gold Line trains shared the same track.

   The second collision happened in the evening around 5:00 p.m., after full train service was restored. This second crash involved a small import sport utility vehicle and another eastbound train at the corner of Avenue 54 and Marmion Way. The damage to the SUV involved in the second crash was minor, and looked to be limited to the driver-side front fender area. It appeared to be the result of the automobile driver making a wide right-hand turn from northbound Avenue 54, onto eastbound Marmion Way and onto the tracks.

   The intersections where both collisions happened are absent of crossing guards or gates, with Metro trains limited to 5 to 10mph. Increased rush hour traffic has resulted in lengthy waits at all Gold Line rail crossings, especially at North Figueroa near Avenue 60, where cars can back up to York Boulevard in the morning, and Avenue 57 in evening traffic. Drivers are under pressure to avoid delays, with train operators pressured to keep on schedule. With the push for a bike lane on Figueroa, these delays may increase exponentially if eventually approved, unless more people take public transportation or an alternate bike route can be adopted.

   A forum involving candidates for the March 7 City Council District 1 election will take place tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. at Sonia Sotomayor Learning Acedemies at 2050 N. San Fernando Road, 90065.

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