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Old February 8th, 2007, 01:35 AM   #321
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Construction crash at Beacon Hill tunnel site

Speaking of crashes:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...itfatal07.html
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/...ident07ww.html
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Old February 8th, 2007, 03:21 AM   #322
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that was sad... i hope it doesnt effect the outcome of the line...
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Old February 8th, 2007, 04:38 AM   #323
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sequoias View Post
http://www.globaltelematics.com/pitf...rvalleymap.htm

Lots of info about train collosions predictions at Rainier Valley area. That's gonna be really nasty once it opens. Too bad it's not elevated or as a tunnel, it would be lot safer for sure. Houston has one of the worst safety records for their light rail, they get countless of crashes.

Please discuss.

I bound to agree, here. I think Link LR will have either a) ridership shortfalls, b) overloaded trains, or c) both.

As a Baltimore resident, I can attest to the the problems of this type of mixed traffic LR. In 2001, our Light Rail had an average of 1 collision every 16 days.

Our Metro, had one collision (with itself), once in 18 years of operation.

With the ridership density expected, this line will struggle to operate effectively as LR. Short headways will overwhelm MLK. This line will need conversion to heavy. Light just doesn't make sense.

Wouldn't it have been better to cutoff a few more streets, and the remaining streets simply bridge over and then come back down to surface?

Or, perhaps later, gradually "duck" the streets beneath or above the line.

Baltimore is in the midst of the throes of bad transit planning due to ignorant business leaders and (formerly) anti-transit gubernatorial admin. We're working to get Heavy Rail back on the study table, because LR in Baltimore make about as much sense as flushing money down the toilet. I think Seattle is at the point in size and density, where HRT is the only workable option in the long run.

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Old February 8th, 2007, 06:55 AM   #324
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Admittedly, running trains on the surface with multiple automobile and pedestrian crossings increases the probability of accidents. What I'm reading out of that is that accidents due to malfunction of driver or systems is only what counts in the accident numbers. Is that a good way of counting it? I don't know. It depends on what they mean by safety. Safety of the systems or safety in general?

There will be lighted and flashing signals (audio for the seeing impaired) to indicate a train is coming. I don't think we should blame Sound Transit and Seattle for people failing to pay attention when they cross the street or trying to beat the train. I call that behavior at worst stupid or at best, negligent. Yeah, it is a terrible situation when someone gets hurt or even dies, but despite not wanting to blame someone who got seriously injured or killed, blaming the person responsible for the accident is, well, reasonable.

I don't know why there aren't any gates. It's probable ST might add them afterwards if these projections turn out to be true.
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Last edited by Jaxom92; February 8th, 2007 at 09:15 AM. Reason: Projects mistyped: now projections.
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Old February 8th, 2007, 06:59 AM   #325
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are peopl just stupid that they don't know of or see the trains? or are they taking chances?

i can't imagine a big train coming at you would be that easy to miss
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Old February 8th, 2007, 09:18 AM   #326
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Perhaps it would be prudent to hold community meetings that teaches those living in the vicinity of the light rail about train safety. I know we had a little course like that in elementary school, because we have a large rail yard in my town. Why not something geared towards the general community. It will both address the safety problem on the citizen's side and promote a healthy relationship between Sound Transit and the community.

Maybe a short 15 - 20 minute video or presentation and a Q & A session. Doesn't need to be longer than an hour. 45 minutes maybe.
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Old February 8th, 2007, 05:03 PM   #327
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This just happened yesterday, not at a grade crossing, but at a station!

[More Light Rail malaise...] mine.

Train strikes woman in Linthicum, severs foot
MTA: Pedestrian did not move from tracks as train approached



By a Sun Reporter

February 7, 2007, 9:09 AM EST

A woman lost a foot after being struck by a light rail train this morning in Linthicum, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Transit Administration said.

At about 7 a.m., a pedestrian who appeared to be in her 30s stepped in front of a moving train at the BWI Business Park stop, according to Holly Henderson, an MTA spokeswoman. The operator of the train sounded the horn several times but the woman did not respond or move from the tracks, Henderson said.

The pedestrian was struck by the train and -- while being dragged for about 20 feet -- her foot was severed, according to Henderson.

The woman, who has not been identified, was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Her condition is unknown.

Light rail service resumed after 8 a.m. and trains were running about 20 minutes behind schedule, Henderson said.
Copyright © 2007, The Baltimore Sun | Get Sun home delivery

> Get news on your mobile device at www.baltimoresun.com

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Old February 8th, 2007, 11:53 PM   #328
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It seems to be another case of not paying attention, though we don't know if the woman might have been deaf or not. In that case, there'd be some concern over the safety systems and stations and crossings as it relates to informing deaf people. Otherwise, an unfortunate accident that could have been avoided by being more aware of the surroundings.

Also, I'm assuming the train made an effort to stop. The posted article doesn't say so, but it would be reasonable to assume such. Also, how fast was the train moving? Light rail can stop much faster than heavy rail such as commuter trains or freight trains, but it's still a train.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 04:00 AM   #329
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
I bound to agree, here. I think Link LR will have either a) ridership shortfalls, b) overloaded trains, or c) both.

As a Baltimore resident, I can attest to the the problems of this type of mixed traffic LR. In 2001, our Light Rail had an average of 1 collision every 16 days.

Our Metro, had one collision (with itself), once in 18 years of operation.

With the ridership density expected, this line will struggle to operate effectively as LR. Short headways will overwhelm MLK. This line will need conversion to heavy. Light just doesn't make sense.

Wouldn't it have been better to cutoff a few more streets, and the remaining streets simply bridge over and then come back down to surface?

Or, perhaps later, gradually "duck" the streets beneath or above the line.

Baltimore is in the midst of the throes of bad transit planning due to ignorant business leaders and (formerly) anti-transit gubernatorial admin. We're working to get Heavy Rail back on the study table, because LR in Baltimore make about as much sense as flushing money down the toilet. I think Seattle is at the point in size and density, where HRT is the only workable option in the long run.

Nate
The Rainier Valley segment of Central Link won't be as awkward as the Howard Street segment of Baltimore's light rail line. Due to the narrowness of Howard Street, the northbound light rail tracks are forced to zig zag back and forth across the northbound motor vehicle lane so that the trains can serve platforms built into the sidewalk:









At the south end of Howard Street, both the northbound and southbound light rail tracks are in the middle of the street. Then the northbound track and northbound motor vehicle lane switch positions so that the northbound track is alongside the sidewalk. The southbound motor vehicle lane ends so that the southbound track is alongside the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street from the northbound track. Then the northbound track and northbound motor vehicle lane again switch positions. Then both light rail tracks switch positions with the northbound motor vehicle lane before diverting off of Howard Street. It is very confusing for motor vehicle drivers who are not familiar with the track arrangement.

The design of the Baltimore light rail line was very much cost driven. When it first opened, much of the line was single-track. The line has been gradually upgraded so that it is now entirely double-track. The Central Link line in Seattle is much more heavily engineered. The only segment on which Sound Transit has skimped has been the Rainier Valley segment. Without resorting to a full elevated viaduct or tunnel, it might have been possible to provide short trench segments in way of intersecting streets so that the streets could cross above the tracks on bridges. The Newark City Subway took advantage of an old canal to create this type of alignment:

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Old February 9th, 2007, 04:48 AM   #330
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The vast majority the collisions between light rail vehicles and motor vehicles are clearly the fault of the drivers of the motor vehicles. It is customary for traffic planners and light rail advocates to dismiss such accidents as being due to inattentive drivers. A subset of these accidents involving emergency vehicles is more difficult to dismiss. Many emergency vehicles carry equipment to give them priority at traffic lights. Many light rail lines utilize the same equipment. What can be expected to happen when an ambulance or fire truck with traffic signal priority crosses paths with a light rail vehicle with traffic signal priority?

Denver, Colorado, January 2005. Ambulance knocks light rail train off the tracks.


Hillsboro, Oregon, January 2005. Light rail train collides with fire truck.


Bloomington, Minnesota, July 2006. Ambulance collides with light rail vehicle.


Los Angeles, California, December 2006. Light rail trains collides with fire truck.

Last edited by greg_christine; February 9th, 2007 at 05:04 AM.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 04:58 AM   #331
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Wow, I never thought or heard about that issue. That's very interesting. Wait a minute, I didn't know that Salem, Oregon has light rail line.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 05:06 AM   #332
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sequoias View Post
Wow, I never thought or heard about that issue. That's very interesting. Wait a minute, I didn't know that Salem, Oregon has light rail line.
Oops! I apologize for the mistake. The accident occured in Hillsboro, which is on one of the Portland MAX lines.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 05:32 AM   #333
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ugh, just another reason why I think at-grade heavy-rail systems with street crossings is ridiculous.Rainier Valley will have close to 20 intersections where cars can cross tracks. *sigh*

has Tacoma Link had any accidents? I don't think I've heard of any...?

Anyway, I love this trolley-bus disguised as a streetcar. So sleek! I think that's a faster, easier, cheaper way of installing streetcar systems rather than laying down tracks...just trick people into thinking they're riding something other than a bus. Might boost ridership.



unimportant rant: I hate Sound Transit's wave design. It's so tacky. I think the simpler---like above, the better. (had to get that off my chest)
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Old February 9th, 2007, 07:23 AM   #334
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I'm pretty sure HRT has sharper deceleration curves than LRT.

Either way, it doens't matter if it's the train's fault or not, the accidents destroy the efficiency and reliability of the system.

Nothing is as absurd as Howard St in Baltimore--which is part of the reason why it's the biggest failure of a light rail line in the history of the US if not North America.

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Old February 9th, 2007, 07:44 AM   #335
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
Oops! I apologize for the mistake. The accident occured in Hillsboro, which is on one of the Portland MAX lines.
Ahh, I thought that was a mistake. I figured it was in Portland metro area.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 08:45 AM   #336
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From seeing those pictures, I definitely agree that is an extremely poor design. They ought to get rid of the auto lane and make it transit only street. There's something similar on the alignment of Tacoma Link on the single track section but it's only for a three or four blocks and has only two lane switches. In the dark, it's a little hard to see where the auto lane goes and where the train lane goes.

I have been in Tacoma Link twice when a pedestrian ignored the train coming an decided to cross anyway. Once we had to break pretty hard and I must say those trains have incredibly loud horns! One other incident involved someone stopped in the intersection and the train had to wait. Then the lights switched and people started driving in front of the train even though we were blocking half the intersection ourselves. No sudden breaking but mixing trains and traffic is highly problematic.

Portland, Oregon is putting light rail down 5th and 6th streets (the Portland Mall) and the trains switch lanes with a dedicated bus line repeatedly. The auto lane doesn't have any interaction with the train lane except at intersections.

And those whole emergency vehicle priorities are a problem that should probably be addressed. Perhaps a system should be put in place that alerts either the train or the emergency vehicle or both to each other's approach. It ought to be fairly easy since there's already signals going out to change the lights to give priority. Furthermore, many transit agencies use vehicle tracking systems to do eta's and perhaps that can be of use. Or a GPS system or something.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 09:42 PM   #337
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Sound Transit has just released their fourth quarter 2006 ridership numbers. While this doesn't directly pertain to the Seattle Light Rail, I think people here might be interested anyway.

Summary: http://www.soundtransit.org/x3821.xml

Detailed Report: http://www.soundtransit.org/Document...ip_Q4_2006.pdf
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Old February 10th, 2007, 03:28 AM   #338
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kub86 View Post

unimportant rant: I hate Sound Transit's wave design. It's so tacky. I think the simpler---like above, the better. (had to get that off my chest)
really,!!!! I love it...
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Old February 10th, 2007, 06:25 AM   #339
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxom92 View Post
Sound Transit has just released their fourth quarter 2006 ridership numbers. While this doesn't directly pertain to the Seattle Light Rail, I think people here might be interested anyway.

Summary: http://www.soundtransit.org/x3821.xml

Detailed Report: http://www.soundtransit.org/Document...ip_Q4_2006.pdf
I just saw it before you posted it on soundtransit's web site. Nice increase on riderships in the whole ST's agency. I find the numbers of average weekday ridership not being that impressive on the sounder commuter rail and the ST express buses. I hope 2007 will get a huge surge in ridership, though. They had a increase of 2 million MORE riders from 2005 to 2006.
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Old February 10th, 2007, 10:56 AM   #340
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Today Sound Transit has released their service implementation plan for 2007. You can reach the pdf directly at: http://www.soundtransit.org/Document...7SIP_final.pdf (CAUTION: 111 eleven pages of dry, technical reading. )

I think what concerns this discussion the most is ridership projections once Central Link opens in June 2009. The numbers are in the form of boardings. A boarding is counted every time someone enters or exits the train/bus. Therefore, divide these numbers by two to see the actual number of people or riders that are carried on the train.

Link Light Rail

2007:
Weekday........Annual
2,835............0.9 mil

2009:
Weekday........Annual
22,963...........3.9 mil

2010:
Weekday........Annual
35,580...........10.9 mil

Notes: The 2007 ridership numbers are reflective of Tacoma Link only, since Central link opens in 2009. The 2009 numbers are reflecting only six months because the line opens in June 2009. The 2010 number reflect the extension to the airport and a full year's operation.
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