At a public meeting about the Exposition Lightrail line that drew an overflow crowd exceeding 150 people to the Dorsey High School cafeteria, the most vocal sentiment about a new settlement forged by the Exposition Light Rail Authority and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) seemed to be anger that officials do not seem to listen to community concerns.

Under the new settlement, the Expo Line would include a new station stop at Farmdale, directly adjacent to the school, and a pedestrian holding area would be separated from the tracks by a higher fence. In addition, train drivers would be responsible for insuring that the intersection is clear of both vehicular and pedestrians before proceeding.

According to Damien Goodman of the Citizen’s Campaigning to fix the Expo Rail Line, one of the groups opposing the at-grade crossing at Dorsey, the proposed settlement is almost the same one that was rejected by the California Public Utilities Commission earlier. “They just added the station. There is still the holding pen; it’s just higher–8 feet. It’s the same problem, in some sense worse, because there will be more interactivity.”

Marguerite LaMotte, the only board of education member to vote no on the proposed settlement between LAUSD and the Expo Authority, echoed many resident’s feelings that the station with it’s at-grade crossing was a fate accompli.

“There isn’t an adequate school this large next to a train track. It’s not right,” said LaMotte, who agreed with another sentiment voiced that the public meeting was just “a lesson in futility.”

Parent and community resident Merdrith Thomas, urged the CPUC to re-examine the situation.

“It’s gridlocked, when I take my child to school (at Baldwin Hills Elementary), parents are dropping off their kids on Chesapeake,” said the area resident.

While many residents continued to express their frustration that officials are not listening to them, there are others in the community who are urging that the stalemate be resolved quickly so that badly needed jobs and traffic relief can continue.

People interested in making comments about the new proposal have until June 15 to submit them to the Exposition Construction Authority at 707 Wilshire Blvd., 34th floor, Los Angeles, 90017 or via fax at (213) 243-5553.

According CPUC Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon, there are two other parties that are allowed to file a protest opposing or supporting the settlement–Neighbors for Smart Rail, and United Community Associations–and this must be done by June 4.

Simon said, all of the comments offered at Tuesday’s meeting as well as any comment submitted by the other two parties will reviewed by each of the five commissioners. He estimates that a final decision will probably be made by late summer.