Expo Line crossing improvements

new markings

New roadway markings add a limit line and bicycle symbol for the bike lane

LADOT has recently added new roadway markings and signage to help improve a key bicycle crossing along Phase I of the Expo Line bikeway. The crossing occurs where Exposition Blvd. meets Rodeo Road, about 1.2 miles west of the University of Southern California and Expo Park. With the Expo Line expected to open April 28th, biking safely around the transit corridor cannot be stressed enough. When approaching this intersection from the east, be sure to watch for trains and adhere to all traffic and warning signals. If the light is red, be sure to stop behind the limit line (this will position you on-top of a loop detector, which alerts the traffic signal that a bicycle is present). When the train clears and the light turns green, follow the bike lane to cross the Expo Line tracks, which will continue along Exposition Blvd. heading east (check out a video from our ride on the Expo Line bikeway to see how you should navigate the crossing). More pictures of the intersection can be viewed in our flickr set.

0 replies
    • pahool
      pahool says:

      Absolutely. On my commute home from work (Westbound) I stay on exposition and end up making a left further down expo at 7th. The few times I’ve done the crossing I’ve had to wait until it was safe to cut into the traffic lane in order to cross the tracks at a reasonable angle. This is a bunch of accidents waiting to happen.

  1. Eric B
    Eric B says:

    It’s really badly designed. Heading east, the apex of the turn is past the first track, meaning you are turning and applying maximum force to your front tire the very moment you are crossing the slippery track at an off angle. Heading west at the split, if you want to continue on Rodeo, even if you use the full lane width to cross the tracks, you’ll still only get to a 45 degree crossing angle–far too sharp for safe crossing. We’ve already had riders go down on the tracks here – and that was before the trains started running.

    Elsewhere, if you are turning left from Expo across the tracks (e.g. Vermont, Normandie, Western) it is also very difficult to cross at a straight enough angle. Also, if you’re like me and rest your foot on the curb while waiting for the light, you might get knocked over by the train since the fence ends before the left turn pocket and there’s virtually zero clearance. I was spooked once already.

    In Europe they’ve pioneered a foam that fills in the gaps to keep the tracks from grabbing your tire but depresses when the train rolls over it. That should be deployed all along Expo’s at-grade crossings ASAP, preferably before someone falls in front of a train.

  2. Evan
    Evan says:

    That foam sounds promising.

    This crossing makes me really nervous just looking at the photos. You always expect that someone will be riding alertly, paying attention to light signals and listening to traffic around them, but we know that doesn’t always happen. Not to mention the example Eric has of resting on the curb. The pessimist in me says that it’s simply a matter of time for when there’s a very bad accident here.

  3. Ben C
    Ben C says:

    Regrettably I have to agree that this crossing is a bad accident waiting to happen, improvements or no. I rode the bikeway for the first time this past weekend. As an experienced LA cyclist, overall I was thrilled. This intersection freaked the shit out of me.

    Even with the limit line in place, it’s not immediately clear where to stop if the signal is red, especially the first time through.

    The angle of approach is terrible. As Eric B mentioned, if the cyclist stays within the boundaries of the bikeway he’s forced to negotiate a turn ACROSS THE TRACKS at the worst possible moment. Great way to virtually guarantee your bike squirts out from under you. In rain or high heat, even more likely. Seasoned cyclists know to avoid this, but many, many bikers will have to learn the hard way. I’d say it doesn’t get much harder than potentially lying stunned in the road in the path of an oncoming train.

    Tire suck, without a doubt.

    And very little clearance between a stopped or approaching cyclist and a passing train, even at the designated limit line. No barrier, no fence, no nothing. Could easily cause a biker to overcorrect and swing into traffic on his left.

  4. Josef Bray-Ali
    Josef Bray-Ali says:

    The bike gutter is in full effect here. I wouldn’t feel safe letting my kid ride to school on this lane, even if I was right by her side.

    Imagine crossing this on a rainy day? I am glad I rock tires that are 1.75″ wide.

    You guys should publish guidelines to avoid having tires stuck in light rail tracks, or invest in some sort of sealant that will make this train track hazard less of a problem.

  5. JJJ
    JJJ says:

    How much money will LADOT have to shell out when someone gets killed here? The danger isnt even falling in front of a train, its the tire getting stuck, the cyclist falling left straight into the path of an SUV or truck. The worst part is, theres no good sollution. Why spend so many hundreds of millions on a new rail line and not be able to get details like this right?

  6. Eric B
    Eric B says:

    Many of my friends have been having their tires get shredded riding the Expo bike lanes recently. Can we get some regular street sweeping? Gutter bike lanes attract glass like you wouldn’t believe.


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  1. […] More Improvements to Expo Phase I Bikeway (LADOT Bike Blog) […]

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