Lining the Blue Line with… Trash

Let’s be frank: the medians that act as the right-of-way for the Blue Line look like absolute crap.

BlueLineTrash01A plethora of weeds spattered and splattered with massive amounts of trash—plastic bags (I thought we banned those?), fast food remnants, straws, Big Gulps—act as the welcoming mat for visitors taking the Blue Line. The hoard of bicyclists which used the Blue to attend the Tour of Long Beach? We welcome you and please, watch your step so as to not carry trash to your Cruz Gran Fondo century ride.

Of course, within the Downtown Long Beach Associates’ PBID—Ocean to 7th—the medians are much cleaner. However, when you hit 10th, the site is simply depressing. And while one would think that the median’s upkeep would be the responsibility of Metro, it actually lies with the City of Long Beach south of Wardlow.

So what, precisely, is going on?

“Within the last year, the State Public Utilities Commission passed new statewide regulations that essentially stopped all maintenance work up and down the State on rail lines,” said Tom Modica, Deputy City Manager of Long Beach. “The new regulations are designed for worker safety, but are very complex and essentially prohibited our contractor from entering the area to do any work. We are working closely with MTA to allow our contractor crews to get back in there on a pilot basis to clean up the medians, which have not been maintained due to the new requirements for several months.”

Ah, so the trash of bureaucracy is creating… actual trash? Got it. And then we have the unwritten law of consequence. Even better.

But is there hope to this bullsense?

“We are making some progress,” Modica assured.  “We’re hoping very soon the training and other safety requirements will be met and operations can return to normal.”

A return to normal is scheduled for tomorrow, May 29: thank the transit (and hygiene) gods.

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 16 nominations and two additional wins for Best Political Commentary for his work at KCET and Best Blog for Longbeachize, a section of the Long Beach Post. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.