Monday, December 7, 2009

Accidents Pile Up, Phoenix Citizens Want to Know ‘What’s the Problem with All These Crashes?’

That’s what a Phoenix TV news anchor asked a field reporter last week after yet another crash involving an at-grade train and a vehicle that failed to heed a red light.

The reporter’s answer was that figuring out the problem is “not that simple.” The station’s airborne video then shows a one-way street with three lanes of traffic on one side of the train tracks and one lane on the other. Says a reporter:

“Throw in some extra lights, turn signals, some slip-ramp merge lanes and you can see why drivers get a little confused and occasionally cross the tracks with a train coming right at them."

The video from KPHO is worth viewing to get a sense of the confusion Phoenix residents are expressing about staying out of harm’s way and the at-grade trains.

When you view the video, take note at about 70 seconds into it how slowly an at-grade train makes a 90-degree turn from one street into another.

This is not rapid transit and certainly not the high-capacity and fast trains (speeds exceeding 55 mph) that Honolulu needs to meet the need of moving commuters between East Kapolei and Ala Moana Center and points in between.

Phoenix will keep asking “what’s the problem,” and we’ll keep asking when at-grade advocates will stop ignoring the crucial safety issue of transit in our city.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At-grade rail puts transit right back into the mess that transit is supposed to help solve.

It misses the point of rail transit: how to move a lot of people efficiently, independent of traffic.