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Metro's New Expo Line Needs Safety Upgrades, Expert Says

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Najmedin Meshkati, a professor and safety expert at USC's Viterbi School of Engineering says that several street crossings along the 7.9-mile light-rail route are awkwardly designed and confusing.

Two of the crossings, Meshkati told the Los Angeles Times, located at Western and Denker Avenues around the Foshay Learning Center, which has about 3,400 students in grades kindergarten to high school, need more crosswalk signs to warn children about oncoming trains.

Another hazardous intersection, according to the report, is at Rodeo Road and Exposition Boulevard, where parallel streets cross to form an X. The Expo trains cut through a very complicated mix of traffic signals for passenger rails, cars, bicyclists and pedestrians, which makes the intersection one of the most dangerous in Los Angeles County, Meshkati explained.

Two rail safety experts, Bill Keppen, a consultant in Maryland and Bruce Fine, a former associate administrator of safety for the Federal Railroad Administration agreed with Meshkati that more signage might be appropriate, according to the report. Keppen said that the Rodeo-Exposition intersection was "odd."

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the state Public Utilities Commission disagree with his statements and told the Times that the Expo trains are safe and were safely designed and thoroughly tested.

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