“We have never been opposed to the rail line; we’ve been opposed to the way it’s being built,” says Damien Goodmon, executive director of the United Community Association.
That “way” is on the ground, the same level used by pedestrians and vehicles, and the controversy is worth noting here in Honolulu, where some still advocate ground-level transit. South LA neighborhood residents see the potential for “catastrophic” conflicts between trains and local youth.
As reported in the L.A. Watts Times, former Metro light rail operator Lester Hollins “has attested to some of the dangers of street-level crossings. While operating a train on the Blue Line, Hollins was involved in an accident with an ambulance. ‘The professionals can’t co-exist with the trains. So, how can we expect the kids to?’ Hollis said.”
Metro Line officials have said appropriate safety measures will be implemented to enhance at-grade safety, including safety cameras, bells and flashers, vehicle and pedestrian crossings with gates, and more.
All of which will be unnecessary on Honolulu’s system, which will be built above grade and completely free of pedestrian and vehicular cross-traffic. It's something to think about the next time you hear someone advocate an at-grade system for Honolulu.