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Wrigley meeting features talk about holiday safety, 2019 Blue Line closures

LBPD officials suggest being aware of surroundings to prevent danger, while LA Metro officials detail construction plans beginning next year

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While Wrigley Association members helped themselves to a share of holiday food and raffle prizes to commemorate the final meeting of the year Dec. 3 at the Veterans Park Community Center, representatives of the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) detailed respective information for attendees.

Holiday safety
LBPD officer Delny Hughes noted at the meeting that, since the holiday season has arrived and people are shopping for gifts, residents practice caution to prevent certain crimes, such as theft.

“Be aware of your surrounding at all times,” she said. “Park in well-lit areas […]. Make sure to have your keys in hand when walking to your car. And make sure to alert any on-site security guards of any suspicious packages.”
Hughes also suggested that residents shop with their debit or credit cards to avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

There are slight upticks in petty crimes this time of year, Hughes said, advising that residents protect their homes by keeping gifts or other valuables outside of view so would-be robbers are not tempted to break-in and steal items.

Moreover, a similar practice can be implemented when putting away valuables in the car. Hughes suggested stashing purchased goods away in car trunks, where they can be out of sight.

Photo by Denny Cristales | Signal Tribune
Delny Hughes, with the Long Beach Police Department, provided holiday-safety tips to residents at the Wrigley Association meeting at the Veterans Park Community Center Dec. 3. Suggestions included calling the police department to request extra patrols around a select area if there are any signs of suspicious individuals or activities and staying in well-lit areas when frequenting parking lots or streets.

If there is any suspicious activity around neighborhoods, Hughes said to give the police department a call.
“If you’re going to be away for the holidays, give us a call so we can place your home on vacation check,” she said, also adding that the department can send officers to do extra patrol around certain areas upon request.

Blue Line closures
Next year will be a time of change for the Metro Blue Line, as the “New Blue” project will work to upgrade the oldest light-rail line with new facade and technical improvements, according to LA Metro officials.

Ayda Safaei, LA Metro community and construction relations manager, explained that the massive undertaking will require the closure of segments of the Blue Line from January 2019 to September 2019.

From January to May, rail service from Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station to the Downtown Long Beach Station will be suspended. From May to September, services from Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station to 7th Street/Metro Center will be closed.

The Green Line portion of the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station will remain active, Safaei said. The Expo Line rail will be suspended at the Blue/Expo Line junction from 7th Street/Metro Center to Pico Station for 45 days between the May-to-September time frame of the project.

In lieu of rail service, LA Metro will provide three shuttle services for customers, Safaei said.

The Blue Line local shuttle will be a free ride serving all closed stations during regular Blue Line operating hours.

The Blue Line select shuttle will be $1.75 and serve certain closed stations Monday through Friday from 6am to 9am and 3pm to 7pm.

The Blue Line express shuttle will be $1.75 and have express stops for the entire Blue Line rail. The express-bus operating hours are the same as the select shuttle.

Photo by Denny Crystals | Signal Tribune
During the Dec. 3 Wrigley Association meeting at the Veterans Park Community Center, Ayda Safaei, community and construction relations manager with LA Metro, along with two other colleagues, detailed the pending closure of the Metro Blue Line beginning in January 2019 to make way for construction and upgrades to the rail system. The reparations are part of a project dubbed “New Blue.”

Safaei said stops and fares are subject to change, adding that more details about local street closures during the Long Beach portion of the closure will be disclosed within the next couple of weeks. Visit metro.net/newblue for details.

“We’re working with the City on a graphic plan,” she said. “So, once we have a little more information about that leading up to the time of the construction, we’ll distribute construction notices and work on going door to door to businesses and residents and letting them know of any lane closures or any other activity.”

Safaei also added that Metro has hired rail-safety ambassadors for all Blue Line stations. The ambassadors, who will have a “New Blue” insignia on their attire, will be available on site to provide information about the upcoming closures.

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Wrigley meeting features talk about holiday safety, 2019 Blue Line closures