Because tens of thousands of fans cross Exposition Boulevard on game days, the Metro has developed a plan to keep those people safe once the station begins operations.
The station is currently slated for completion in 2012.
Metro’s Deputy Executive Officer for Operations Bruce Shelburne said the organization completed several studies to observe pedestrian movement from Trousdale Parkway to the Rose Garden.
“We’re [going to have] crowd breaks while the crowd comes through,” Shelburne said. “We will control the crossing to prevent anybody from going in front of the train. We [will] put personnel in front of the people who are crossing and then move the train.”
Shelburne said Metro plans to erect barricades for the group of thousands that follows the Trojan Marching Band, which itself usually takes about two-and-a-half minutes to cross the street.
“We’ll allow a couple of minutes for folks to pass through and Exposition is still closed,” Shelburne said. “We’ll put up a barricade on each side to make sure nobody gets in the way of the train, which only takes a minute or so [to erect], then open it up again.”
Exposition Boulevard currently allows Trojan Transportation buses to pass through on game days, but restricts traffic somewhat to allow pedestrians to cross.
Some students said the plan doesn’t seem significant.
“The measures will [not] be that big of a deal,” said Shehzad Husnani, a freshman majoring in aerospace engineering. “I believe it’s worth it because safety is important and waiting two extra minutes to make sure everyone is safe is really nothing.”
There will be two other stations near campus, one at Vermont Avenue and Exposition Boulevard and the other at Jefferson Boulevard and Figueroa Street. The station at Figueroa is planned to have a bridge over the street for pedestrians to cross.
“There are also additional safety features, such as markings and LED train signs,” Metro spokesman Rick Jager said. “Our most important goal is to make sure everybody is safe.”
Some students said these safety features assured them that the dollars going toward construction were being well-spent.
“It’s worth the money,” said Tommy Waas, a freshman majoring in screenwriting. “Better to do that than risk someone getting hurt.”
Phase one of the $2.4-billion Expo line project, connecting Culver City to Downtown Los Angeles, was completed this year. Currently, Metro is testing out the trains and plans to officially open phase one to the public in early 2012.
“We’re having a pre-construction phase [for the second phase], doing activities such as, potholing and surveying,” said Gabriela Collins, community relations manager for Exposition Construction Authority. “Construction will start early next year and be completed in 2015.”