COMMUTER CHAOS STORY
FROM: Portland, Oregon – May 25, 2018
Portland’s streetcar system was put through a full-day shutdown after a collision knocked a streetcar off of the tracks and into multiple other vehicles. If a similar incident had occurred along one of the proposed Surrey LRT lines, it would have caused major commuter chaos for a full day.
According to The Oregonian, KOIN and others, the streetcar was derailed just after 12PM after a truck collided with the streetcar and then was pushed along by it – hitting two other cars, one of which was parked. The incident left one person injured.
With a key portion of both A and B loop routes blocked, this particular incident necessitated a full shut-down of this streetcar line. Restoring service meant crews had to use cranes to lift the derailed streetcar back onto the tracks. This work took more than 11 hours to complete. The A and B loop routes remained shut down for this entire duration, which went past the end of streetcar service hours.
Portland Streetcar off the tracks at SE Grand Blvd at Taylor. Early reports are one person to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries. pic.twitter.com/xvGfoRAGdM— Ken McCormick (@kgwken) May 25, 2018
As of 9:45 PM, PBOT crews are still working to remove a Portland Streetcar from the tracks. This is on SE Grand and SE Taylor. Crews say that it will take at least another hour before the job is done , and the street should reopen by midnight. #LiveOnK2 pic.twitter.com/Rfkk0x4447— Corry Young (@photocorry) May 25, 2018
The proposed Surrey Light Rail Transit system will run at street level on segments of 104th Avenue, King George Boulevard and Fraser Highway, and crosses busy arterial roads at major intersections similar to the Portland Streetcar as well as the MAX Light Rail system.
Incidents like this where LRT vehicles are knocked off of tracks in a derailment will generally necessitate a complete shut down of that segment of the LRT system for an extremely long period of time.
Once again, this incident highlights a major, fundamental flaw of the proposed street-running light rail system endorsed by TransLink, the Regional Mayors’ Council, and the City of Surrey. The proposed LRT lines run in the medians of major arterial roads, and would cross through several busy intersections at street level.
Any one of these busy intersections could be blocked and shut down if there is an accident.
SkyTrain for Surrey has called for the cancellation of the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT project, the conversion of the Surrey-Langley LRT into a SkyTrain extension of the Expo Line, and the construction of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on King George Boulevard and 104th Avenue (instead of an LRT).
With BRT’s ability to detour around accident areas, and SkyTrain’s ability to simply pass overhead, a rapid transit system built on SkyTrain and BRT would not be subject to total disruptions.
Surrey residents expect their future rapid transit system to be a trustworthy and reliable service. A street-running LRT system will not deliver one.
SkyTrain for Surrey is the community organization that advocated for the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension, and continues to push for high-quality rapid transit projects in Surrey and Langley. We began as a petition calling for the scrapping of a street-level LRT proposal, which eventually amassed more than 6,000 signatures, and later contributed to making SkyTrain an election issue as a registered third-party advertiser. SkyTrain for Surrey continues to call for high-quality projects that offer a positive return-on-investment and recognize the rapidly increasing demand for transit.
Daryl Dela Cruz – Founder, SkyTrain for Surrey
Phone: +1 604 329 3529, [email protected]