Thursday, September 9, 2010

Houston Evaluates High Car Crash Numbers; ‘Elevated Rail Would Best Serve Our City’

Yes2Rail ranges far and wide for its content, even dipping into the cultural pools of Houston, TX. It may be an unlikely source, but that’s where we found some handwringing on the driving habits of Houstonians.

Culturemap HOUSTON, which calls itself “Houston’s Daily Digital Magazine,” reported this week that “Houstonians are 29.5 percent more likely to have a vehicle collision than drivers in other major United States cities….”

That caught our attention because Houston’s at-grade rail transit system has figured in a remarkable number of them. Culturemap’s writer hopes METRO ridership will increase; with fewer drivers on the road, she reasons, “the train would function with less worry of crashes.”

“Ultimately, an elevated rail ... would best serve our city…. An elevated rail would eliminate the need to stop at traffic lights and allow cars to pass safely beneath it.”

That’s precisely the argument we’ve made for the past two years and will continue to revisit whenever anyone – from the Governor on down -- advocates a “cheaper” at-grade transit system for Honolulu.

In that regard…….

From The Seattle Times

Sound Transit service was disrupted for about 35 minutes Thursday morning (9/9) in Southeast Seattle when a motorist tried to make a left turn in front of a light-rail train and was struck by the train.
Sound Transit spokesman Bruce Gray said the accident happened about 11 a.m. when the car going north on Martin Luther King Jr. Way attempted to make a turn onto Othello Street against the light as the train was approaching.
The car was pushed out of the way, he said.
Passengers on the train were taken off and put on buses. The car’s driver and passenger were treated at the scene for minor injuries.
Gray said no one on the train was injured and normal train service resumed shortly afterward.

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