I don't think that MetroFail is going to want to broadcast news of their problems to the masses.
I predict that the rail may be shut down for "further study" after the All Star Game (the other big people mover event in Houston this year). Shutting it down before the ASG would be akin to admitting that it poses a safety threat making it unlikely to reopened in time for that game.
If the accident cycle continues, there may be no other choice but to shut it down before that game.
Any wagers on how many voters would have voted down MetroFail2 last year if they have seen the Wham Bam Thank You Tram in action?
It happened again -- another accident involving a METRO light rail train and a passenger vehicle. This time the accident occurred at the corner of Main and McGowen. The car was traveling north on Main, trying to make a left turn on McGowen and it got pinned up, apparently panicking the driver.
So far there have been 11 such accidents, and METRO rail has only been up and running for less than a month.
Driver Quien Lu was visibly shaken and confused after the accident. He said he saw the green light, but not the no turn signal. Lu was trying to make a left turn from north on Main to west on McGowen.
Eyewitness Velmarine Szabo asserted, "It was the (car's) driver that was at fault. The (train) slowed (the operator) blew (the whistle) he gave every warning that he could. He tried to visibly stop the train."
No one was hurt, but the passengers on board the train say it happened so quickly. Thorne Dobbins was sitting right behind the train engineer.
He said, "I heard him say, 'Oh no!' and hit the brakes. You could feel the braking, and then the collision."
This brings to 11 the number of accidents involving the METRO light rail. It is the second such accident in two days. Witnesses suggest the signage may be the problem.
"I don't know. It's not that well marked, I don't think, for people to see," said Dobbins. "You can't turn left here, turn left there It's all so changed up."
And Mayor Bill White seems to agree.
"I think we need to do a better job of communication and signage because we can't continue at this rate," he said.
There were no serious injuries in Tuesday afternoon's accident. But more and more we're hearing that inconsistency seems to be a problem for a lot of the people who are monitoring the situation. Sometimes you can drive on the tracks, sometimes you can't. Sometimes you can take a left turn over the tracks, sometimes you can't. Eyewitness News will continue to follow up with METRO on possible changes to the system.
(Copyright © 2004, KTRK-TV)