A New Metrolink Line Presents a Safety Conundrum at UCR

A new Metrolink line that runs through Riverside will be a boon to commuters, but potentially a danger to students, staff and faculty who hike to the giant concrete “C” on the Box Springs mountain to paint it gold or just to enjoy the view.

The new commuter trains, already in a testing phase, will be traveling up to 40 miles per hour. So the only safe way to cross the tracks is at a controlled crossing when the arms are up.

Here’s the problem: The most heavily traveled footpaths to the C are dirt trails that cross at places that are not controlled by railroad arms. And the nearest controlled intersection adds significant distance to the hike.

“We are partnering with transportation officials to get the message out that the rail line will be much busier, and much more dangerous to cross,” said Jeff Kraus, UCR’s director of government and community relations. He said the campus is working with city, county and transportation officials to identify a safe crossing, as part of a larger plan for trails. “We are exploring options such as a bridge, a tunnel or a new trailhead,” Kraus said.

UCR is participating in a safety campaign stresses the dangers of walking on or near tracks. Trains are not able to stop quickly. And these commuter trains are traveling much more quickly than the freight trains that have used these tracks previously. Safety resources from Operation Lifesaver: http://oli.org/

Russell Vernon, director of Environmental Health and Safety on campus, said the walking trail to the C was already on steep and rugged terrain. The dangers of the rail line just complicate the situation. “I recommend that we find a safer path to the C,” Vernon said.

For those who are commuters, the Perris Valley Line could be an environmentally friendly way to get to and from campus. It is a 24 mile line that connects the downtown Riverside station to south Perris.

Four new stations will open before the end of December: Hunter Park (two miles from campus); Moreno Valley/March Field, Downtown Perris and South Perris. RTA will launch a new bus line from the Hunter Park station to stop at points on campus.

More information is available here: http://perrisvalleyline.info/

Archived under: Health, Inside UCR, , , , , , ,

Top of Page