Thursday, July 28, 2016

The MAX crash could have been physically discouraged

It appears that Tuesday's MAX/car collision could possibly have easily been prevented. It appears the driver made an illegal left or U turn at SW 18th and Taylor where there's clearly a "straight ahead only" sign, but the median is open and smoothly paved, inviting people to drive across it. In addition, there's no train warning sign.

Given that there are no legal maneuvers possible through the median/across the tracks (all traffic using Taylor must turn right onto or off of the street), there is no reason for it to be made for driving.  The city or TriMet could put some sort of barrier there between the tracks physically preventing turns like the errant driver made, and/or extend the cement domes that otherwise exist between the auto lane and the MAX track.

Overall, streets need to be engineered to withstand bad drivers and, while a sign may meet technical requirements, it is not the ideal.  It is sad that TriMet as an organization does not empower employees and actively ask them "how can we solve problems and do things better?" but seems like to put them down.

Discussion of the incident on Reddit:
Providence Park: Car vs MAX : Portland
Why the Max was delayed this afternoon : Portland

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