V Khawani

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, operations - performance, planning - safety/accidents, planning - safety/accidents, planning - education, economics - appraisal/evaluation, organisation - performance, mode - rail, mode - tram/light rail, mode - pedestrian


Warning signs, Two trains approaching, Traffic fatalities, Railroad grade crossings, Prevention, Performance evaluations, Pedestrian safety, Pedestrian education, Pedestrian accidents, Operational tests, Los Angeles County (California), Light rail transit grade crossings, Light rail transit, Level crossings, Highway railroad grade crossings, Highway rail intersections, Grade crossings, Fatalities, Fatal accidents, Demonstration projects, Death


Data collected to date for a demonstration project on the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (LACMTA's) Metro Blue Line (MBL) are presented. The project involves the installation of a train-activated sign to warn pedestrians when two or more trains are approaching a highway-rail intersection (HRI). The hazard associated with two trains approaching an HRI is particularly prevalent if the HRI is adjacent to a station. Typically, if pedestrians see a train berthed at a station that has activated warning devices downstream, in a haste to board the train, they fail to notice trains approaching from the opposite direction on adjacent tracks. This scenario has resulted in 14 accidents and 4 fatalities at LACMTA's Vernon Avenue HRI since the start of MBL operations in 1990. A second train approaching the HRI can reasonably be assumed to be a major contributing factor in many of such train-pedestrian collisions. The process for selecting the demonstration site and warning sign is described. Also described are the sign's detail, public information plan to educate and inform pedestrians about the sign, and method to evaluate sign effectiveness. Because the project is under way, final results on sign effectiveness cannot be presented, but data collected and projected final results are discussed.