Metrolink and Burbank officials are reviewing possible safety enhancements to the busy downtown station amid reports that passengers continue to ignore rail crossing warnings.
City transportation planner David Kriske said Metrolink wants to “determine if a safety problem exists, particularly if there has been an observed increase in pedestrian violations of the crossing bells and lights due to changes in train schedules.”
According to Metrolink, five citations have been issued so far this year at the downtown station to pedestrians ignoring the active warning system — the same amount for all of last year.
Metrolink spokeswoman Angie Starr said officials were examining possible safety enhancements for the downtown station, adding that the agency is constantly working with cities on improving rail crossings.
Kriske said city officials are interested in enhancing their relationship with Metrolink as they work on downtown station issues.
“Because BurbankBus carries so many Metrolink riders, we feel that Metrolink and the city should work more closely when planning service changes,” Kriske said. “In the past, we have been caught somewhat off guard when responding to Metrolink service adjustments and we believe that commuters on both systems would be better served with more active coordination between the two agencies.”
In the weeks leading up to the new express service, Metrolink issued warnings at passenger platforms to be aware of the new stop schedules. And in Glendale next week, officials will be monitoring the dangerous Doran Street crossing for pedestrian/vehicle violations.
The downtown Burbank station is the sixth busiest in the Metrolink system and considered the second most used “destination station” behind Union Station in downtown L.A. With the introduction of Metrolink’s express service last month, more trains and more riders are using the station, according to the agency.
Buses also serve both sides of the station, which is a major junction for the Antelope Valley and Ventura County lines, adding to the busy mix. There are no crossing arms or gates on the pedestrian path, but lights, large signs and a bell alert commuters as to when it is safe to cross.
Possible safety improvements being discussed were not available, but Starr said they generally include gates and/or crossing arms.