COMMUTER CHAOS STORY
FROM: Portland, Oregon – September 5, 2018
For the second time this year, a Portland streetcar was derailed off of tracks in downtown Portland. According to The Oregonian, KOIN and others, the streetcar was derailed just after 3:30PM after a truck collided with the streetcar, with a force so hard that it knocked the streetcar off of the tracks and off of the road.
With a key portion of the A loop service blocked, the incident necessitated a full shut-down of this streetcar line spanning over 7 hours. Restoring service meant crews had to use forklift cranes to lift the derailed streetcar back onto the tracks. One observer was keen to point out that in the last instance of a derailment earlier this year, the work took more than 12 hours.
.@PBOTinfo says the driver of that Ford either switched lanes or tried making a turn on to NE 2nd from Weidler, knocking the @PDXStreetcar off the tracks. “About a half dozen” riders on board, no one needed medical treatment #KOIN6News pic.twitter.com/wD9ikA3mzL— Cole Miller (@ColeMillerTV) September 6, 2018
In addition to the shut-down of streetcar service, the incident caused congestion and gridlock as traffic in the area was reduced to a single lane, and a local side street was blocked off by the derailed streetcar.
Aerial photos of the truck ➡ @PDXStreetcar collision courtesy of Crown Plaza Hotel. NE 2nd & Weidler lanes CLOSED thru evening commute hours. A Loop service disrupted. B Loop and NS Streetcar routes operating on schedule. #pdxtraffic pic.twitter.com/kzrlpRdY3v— Portland Bureau of Transportation (@PBOTinfo) September 6, 2018
A video released by The Oregonian shows the moment the truck collided with the streetcar after appearing to making a left turn in front of it:
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]