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Eyes on the Station: New Metal Barriers Funnel Riders at MacArthur Park Station

Metro recently installed new temporary metal barriers channel riders into three separate streams: one entering toward the platform, two exiting toward the street.

12:10 PM PDT on June 6, 2023

New metal barriers funneling riders through MacArthur Park Station. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog

Metro has been piloting interventions to make riders “safer” at its MacArthur Park B/D Lines subway station. Earlier this year, Metro added uncomfortably loud music, more policing, ambassadors, brighter lighting, and closed off a station entrance. There’s another feature recently added: metal barricades, reminiscent of a cattle chute.

The new barriers were alluded to in the May Monthly Public Safety Update staff report, where they were termed a “30-Day Faregate Pilot operation.” SBLA visited the station today to see what has changed since this site’s April coverage of the MacArthur Park pilot.

Metro recently installed new temporary metal barriers channel riders into three separate streams: one entering toward the platform, two exiting toward the street.

Riders entering the station
On the mezzanine level of MacArthur Park station, metal barriers now channel riders
Fare gates at the west end of the station have been closed off, so allow riders to exit only
Fare gates at the west end of the station are closed off for boarding, only allowing riders to exit
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Riders entering and exiting MacArthur Park Station today. (Metro’s white background barrier graphic is installed incorrectly with arrows pointing the wrong direction)
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Riders who follow the instructions can only enter at the northeast bank of turnstiles. (This black background banner also shows arrows pointing pedestrians the wrong way.)
Metro already installed chain link fence to close the station's north portal, so the new metal barriers add to a sense of fencing making more parts of the station off limits
Earlier this year (in February/March) Metro already put in a chain link fenced (horizontally across center) to close the MacArthur Park Station north portal, so the new metal barriers (foreground) add to a sense of a station full of lots of metal barriers signaling to riders that much of the station is off limits

Metro’s torturously loud classical music has resumed its earlier headache-inducing volumes. Compare SBLA recordings from today, April 12, and March 9.

Someone (named @metrolosangeles) turned the volume way up on the MacArthur Park Station classical music pic.twitter.com/STYqsEYxoO — StreetsblogLA (@StreetsblogLA) June 5, 2023

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Metro had turned the music volume down in early April, but, in an email to SBLA, Metro spokesperson Dave Sotero noted that Metro “continues to closely monitor and calibrate volume levels.” Which apparently meant “turning down the volume until the public and media outcry died down, then ratcheting it back up.”

In addition to the loud music, Metro has turned the fare door alarm back on (these alarms used to sound more than a decade ago, but have been turned off at all other Metro stations). At MacArthur Park, the alarm now sounds loudly and continues long after the gate has been shut.

Metro’s MacArthur Park pilot interventions are also supposed to include station attendants, expanded street vending, and bathrooms. These positive aspects of pilot – part of “saturating the area with services” as City Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez has called for – were nowhere in sight today.

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