As MTA authorities worked to fix the signal communications glitch at train crossings throughout South Pasadena, Police Chief Joe Payne reminded motorists Friday that it is illegal -- and dangerous-- to drive around the protective gates.
A spike in malfunctioning guard arms at a handful of train crossings, where the arms are staying in a down position many minutes after the trains have rolled through, have frustrated motorists and caused many to whip illegal U-turns on the street or try to maneuver around the arms, Payne said.
"As far as grade crossings, we never encourage going around the gates under any circumstances. Even during malfunctioning gates, the trains will continue to run. The train operators will slow considerably when the malfunction includes open gates, but any rail crossing is a danger when a train approaches malfunctioning gates,'' he said.
The malfunctions began en masse Thursday morning, occurred intermittently throughout the day, and started up again Friday morning. Intersections periodically affected include Mission and Meridian, Orange Grove, Indiana and Pasadena and Monterey, as well as El Centro and Glendon. And no sooner had MTA spokesman Dave Sotero given the all-clear sign that officials fixed the problem, than the arms remained stuck in a downward position.
"The problem was sourced to the Indiana Grade Crossing, which also affects the operation of crossing gates at other intersections in the area. Metro tested and replaced several components of the signal communication system at this location,'' Sotero said, just moments before South Pasadena Police needed to manage traffic control because arms again stuck in the downward position.
Patch readers tacking on lengthy detours to their trips, or forcing them to sit in their cars for extended periods of time.
Patch Asks: Do these intermittent malfunctions frustrate you?
Updated: Metro Gate Arms Functioning Again
MTA Signal Malfunctions Congest Traffic