Draw your own conclusions…


13 replies
  1. Eric
    Eric says:

    I would think that the answer is obvious: Stop signs for the trolley at every intersection.

    This would give the motorist the right-of-way to make a turn across the tracks unimpeded and without danger. After all, no one expects a driver late for an appointment to look before crossing a lane since the driver’s time is so much important than the losers riding the trolley.

  2. andrewp
    andrewp says:

    Since you really can’t tell from the video, I’m wondering at what speeds all this is taking place. And I never saw any braking from the trolley — at least once I saw blinkers put on before the left turn, and the trolly did not slow ……..

  3. P.M. Summer
    P.M. Summer says:

    Well, if there were more LR cars, the collisions would decline due to the “Safety In Numbers” theory, and if the trolleys had their own lanes, cars wouldn’t turn into them… oh, wait.

    Portland had the same problem (that video’s from Houston, isn’t it?) when they expanded their LR service in town. There is a severe “learning curve” for motorists.

  4. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    So you’ve got a 40 ton 10 ft wide and 15 ft high Trolley ‘taking the lane’ and people still don’t see, scary.

  5. Keri
    Keri says:

    It is scary, but there’s a reason for it. The motorists aren’t viewing that rail lane as a traffic lane. If it was a traffic lane, they would look for overtaking traffic and merge normally into it, then make a left turn.* Placing a segregated thru lane alongside the general traffic lanes breaks the system. It defies the rules of predictable traffic movements that drivers are trained to deal with.

    When cyclists operate alongside traffic, they are exposed to the same conflicts. Only cyclists aren’t encased in steel.

    *Looks like there is one place where the train lane becomes a shared left-turn lane, but the pick-up driver doesn’t think to look for overtaking traffic before moving to the left.

  6. Mighk
    Mighk says:

    This appears to be a light rail system, not a trolley. Trolleys generally operate in mixed traffic. Light rail usually runs faster and can operate in mixed traffic, but some systems use gates to control intersections.

    As Paul Cassazza says, there are always H.U.A. drivers.

    It’s one thing for a motorist to miss a cyclist in his right-side blind spot, but the left side? The driver’s sideview mirror covers that just fine.

    The thought “Hmmm, crossing tracks; might there be train?” is evidently too advanced for some motorists.

  7. Chris
    Chris says:

    Ban trolleys. Its obvious to me that they are dangerous to cars on the road. If not for the trolley, those innocent cars would not have been hit and damaged.

  8. 2whls3spds
    2whls3spds says:

    Looks like Darwinism at it’s finest. I saw mostly illegal moves by motorists. FWIW crossing gates don’t work either. I was on an Amtrak near Florence, SC a while back and some clown drove around the down gate and got plowed by our 400,000# engine and attached train at 70+mph. Some people will never learn.


  9. Wayne Pein
    Wayne Pein says:

    I conclude that this largely mirrors bike lanes and Right Hook crashes. The bicyclist (streetcar) in the nice clear inviting bike lane (streetcar tracks) passes slowed/stopped motor vehicles only to whack/be whacked by one that suddenly turns right.

    A difference is that the bicyclist is the one that really suffers. Another is that a competent bicyclist is in control and may not do it or otherwise avoid collision.


  10. Jack
    Jack says:

    There is only one clear conclusion: auto drivers pay less than adequate attention to their responsibilities. Whether it is a heavier train or a light cyclist, infrastructure is extremely important in protecting road users. Of course infrastructure alone is not enough.

    Competent cyclists have no control over irresponsible drivers but through their skills and good luck, many serious injuries may be avoided. The large pool of potential cyclists however have no desire to spend time and energy on a bike only to have their life destroyed by irresponsible drivers.

  11. Wayne Pein
    Wayne Pein says:

    I don’t think one can conclude from this that “infrastructure is very important to protecting road users (from drivers that pay less than adequate attention).”

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