Breaking new rules could be fatal

first_img Visibility at some intersections is limited, so a flashing sign – “Bus” – will indicate when a bus is approaching and should be heeded. Pedestrians and bicycle riders also are being warned to stay off the busway and instead use the separate bike/pedestrian lanes. There are bike racks and lockers at each station. A recent presentation to about 40 students at Thoreau High School in Woodland Hills got a response. The students chuckled at an animated video about the new busway, geared for elementary school children, and then gasped at the ultra-realistic effects on a video about rail safety. Orange Line rides will be free this weekend. After that, tickets – $1.25 for one way or $3 for a one-day pass – can be purchased at the stations along the route. The system also features free Park and Ride lots at the Winnetka, Reseda, Lake Balboa, Van Nuys and North Hollywood stations. An additional Park and Ride lot is to be built next year at Canoga Park. Lisa M. Sodders, (818) 713-3663 [email protected] IF YOU GO: The Orange Line will debut this weekend, with buses running 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 5 a.m.-midnight Sunday. Community celebrations are planned 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the following locations: Warner Center Station, Erwin Street and Owensmouth Avenue, Woodland Hills. DeSoto Station, Pierce College campus, Victory Boulevard and DeSoto Avenue, Woodland Hills. Balboa Station, Victory and Balboa boulevards, Encino. Van Nuys Station, Van Nuys Boulevard and Aetna Street. North Hollywood Station, 5350 Lankershim Blvd. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s safety tips for the new Orange Line are fairly simple: Obey signal lights, don’t turn right on red, and don’t walk or drive on the busway. But MTA officials, pointing to the words of a president and others who have said “common sense isn’t too common,” have been conducting safety-education programs at more than 100 elementary, middle and high schools, both public and private, within 1 miles of the route. Officials hope that children will share the safety tips with their families. “People are used to interacting with a street in a certain way, and they take it for granted; it becomes a memory. They don’t think about it,” MTA spokesman Dave Sotero said. But when the Orange Line is operating, he noted: “That same intersection – the rules can be different from day to day.” Sotero said the MTA launched a similar information campaign when the Gold Line was introduced in Pasadena in July 2003. And while there have been minor accidents, there have been no fatalities on that line. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The Orange Line, which will open on Saturday, runs 14 miles between Warner Center and the Red Line subway station at North Hollywood, with 13 stops along the way. A Metro Liner bus, which can seat 57 passengers, will arrive at each station on the route every six minutes during peak traffic hours and every 12 minutes during other hours. Critics have complained that the busway doesn’t have crossing gates, as trains do, and Orange Line bus drivers have reported close calls with motorists during test runs. Gates are now being considered for a similar busway in Florida. But MTA officials say gates are not necessary, and the agency is not required to have them. MTA officials say they expect it will take drivers, pedestrians and cyclists some time to get used to the new system. They have been conducting test runs of the system and watching for potential problems before the busway officially opens. For example, MTA officials learned the entire track team of a San Fernando Valley high school – and the teacher – were hopping the fence and crossing the busway as a shortcut while the route was under construction. Because Metro Liners need 250 feet to come to a stop, motorists are prohibited from making right turns on red lights to keep them from colliding with a bus traveling at 50 mph. And since the busway is an enclosed right-of-way, there are no escape routes or exits, so private vehicles are not allowed on the busway, officials said. last_img read more