#57...Houston: we're headed for the record...

That #57 is not a ketchup reference. It is reference to the fact that the Houston Light Rail’s crash record has become legendary. Check out crash #57 which just happened today. So far Metro has, as always, been full of excuses in terms of why there are so many accidents. They’ve claimed that people aren’t paying attention, are driving reckless, are throwing themselves in front of the train on purpose, and so on. In this case, when the train hits a Tarrant County Sheriff’s van, the question becomes “we don’t know what they were doing there. WHAT? So they were hit because they shouldn’t have been there? Well I guess count in everybody on Main Street. If you’re in a train accident, according to Metro, you have no right to be in the area. Until today, the accidents have been private citizen/train events. This should get interesting.

I have driven around and about the rail line and can completely understand how folks are getting hit. Aside from the fact that the trains are at street level, and virtually silent, there are left turn lanes directly on the tracks. So if you’re waiting for a green light in certain left hand turn lanes, you’re a sitting duck waiting for a head on collision. Another item nobody cares to mention is that if you are at one of the cross streets of a train intersection, there are absolutely no signs, lights, or special warnings. You know because you can see the tracks laying horizontally in front of you in the middle of the intersection. Houston intersections are not known for their clear line of sight looking left and right either. You could be perpendicular on a track and in deep shit before you know it.

A dirty little secret with this whole deal is that Metro claims that the drivers who are hit by the train are getting ticketed, in addition to their auto insurance policies bearing claims for train damage. Given that Harris County already has one of the highest car insurance rates in the country, I believe that the pro-train advocates should have to bear the costs of this sure to come insurance hike. And it isn’t just a Houston problem. Metro plans to ask the Federal Government to foot the bill for the remainder of Houston rail...America hold on to your wallets.


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