We’ve just gotten word that a pedestrian near Othello Station has run headfirst into the side of a light rail train.

I think this proves that pedestrians are unsafe and should be banned from city streets.

Seriously, though. It sounds like the person has “facial injuries” from running into the side of the train, but will be okay.

It’ll be a while before we get used to these.

34 Replies to “Pedestrian Hits Light Rail Train”

  1. Oh, I thought the headline read “Light Rail Train Hits Pedestrian”, but “Pedestrian Hits Light Rail Train” is absolutely retarded. What kind of person runs into the side of a train????

    1. Drive a bus for one day and you’ll know exactly what kind of person runs into the side of a train. They’re out there, you just have to be in a position to see them (and thus, in a position to hopefully avoid hitting them).

  2. I struggle with this. The number of pedestrians that get hit by cars on Rainier in Columbia City ought to put SDOT to shame (spend an afternoon at the corner of Edmunds and Rainier and you’ll see several close calls of car versus pedestrian – last Saturday a woman was hit at Ferdinand and Rainier). SDOT decides to forgo a traffic calming project – shame on them. But it may have been a fiscal-politically astute move. Who will count the car strikes when their is the dreaded Light Rail to get all the attention instead.

    1. The key is, for the number of rail trips, fewer people get hit (a lot fewer) than if those people were driving.

      1. I’m hoping to get it changed here at KING/NWCN. It’s written correctly IN the story, but the headline is misleading.

      2. Yeah…unfortunately, I don’t have much pull. I tried. The story read on air first says a train hits her, then she hits the train. Sort of right. Misleading still.

  3. I’ve always wondered how anyone could get hit by a train. They’re big and bright and you know exactly where they are coming from and going to.

    After a car accident I met a lot of people in the orthopedic clinic at Harborview, 99% percent of them were there due to cars, why does that never make the headlines?

  4. I just meant people in general getting hit or hitting trains I find baffling.

    I do find it funny that the first pedestrian accident involves someone hitting the train, and not vice-versa. I think that is unprecedented. I see she was quite old though, so I hope she is okay.

      1. I know, good point LOL. If we had the BBC’s press coverage, we would’ve had the whole system up by now.

    1. Thanks for the great post via BBC.
      It’s really sad that the best article I’ve read, and one of the very few, has to come from half way around the world.
      Politicians, and the media from east of the Mississippi, can’t say enough about their own corridors.
      We get squat from our only remaining paper, and local electeds.
      Yes, High Speed Rail could be a really big deal. I hope we wake up, before all the stimulus funding is spoken for.

  5. Wish you guys could see the news stories in the lead up to the opening of MetroRail in Houston. This one is tame for a 90-days-until-opening story. They’d squeeze blood from a turnip to get a story.

    Oh! Phoenix! Go check out their stories :)

  6. Dog Bites Man, not a headline. Man Bites Dog, headline. Train Hits Pedestrian, headline. Pedestrian Hits Train, … truth is stranger than fiction!

  7. As I write this, KING/NWCN and the Seattle P-I still haven’t corrected their postings, but the Seattle Times got it right:

    A woman sustained facial injuries Friday afternoon when she ran into the side of a light rail train in testing service on tracks along Martin Luther King Jr. Way South at South Othello Street in South Seattle.

    More at the Seattle Times.

    KIRO said ”Light Rail, Woman Collide In South Seattle”, and included a picture of the woman being taken to the ambulance on a gurney.

      1. Well I believe there is some work required to make the intersections and crossings safer.

        In light of the very real safety measures that are technically feasible, I’m in the two wrongs don’t make a right camp when people shrug and say, ‘How many people die in car accidents’. I have always found the cavalier attitude about expected deaths with at grade light rail to be appalling.

      2. I think the reason the attitude appears cavalier is that when someone comes out worrying about deaths due to light rail, they’re usually only *noticing* because it’s a train.

        When we build light rail, we’re generally *reducing* the number of accidents. For every person who runs into a light rail train, that’s ten people who would have been in accidents if the train wasn’t taking those trips.

        This particular light rail pays more attention to pedestrian safety than any before it. I try to recognize that first.

  8. There’s this thing called “personal responsibility.” It’s the attitude of the people that will make the MLK line safe or unsafe. There are plenty of examples around the world where trains and people and cars share the same space with no physical separation at all. People get used to it and learn to look around and pay attention, they learn to be responsible for their own safety. When you build too many safeguards into a system you take away personal responsibility and people get lazy and inattentive, and then they get hit by trains or cars. I think that Sound Transit has done everything that can be reasonable expected to make the line as safe as possible. If anything, MLK is a safer street now then it was before light rail.

    1. Now that would be an interesting study: # of accidents a year on MLK before and after LINK.

      1. You’ll never see that study in the mainstream media though. Our media seems to have an obsession with bad or shocking news as opposed to the facts, but it looks like local blogs are helping change that.

  9. Well, KING5 has revised their story at the link above to follow the P-I which says the train hits her. The Times however is sticking by their original reporting. It would be nice to know what really happened but we’re probably already in a Tolstoyan fog that will never lift.

  10. You can’t fight Darwinism, but there are those – probably the last dregs of the “Save Our Valley” crowd – who are wringing their hands over this, and suggesting that ST have “more education” for the “diverse population” of the Rainier Valley that they need to look both ways before crossing the street. Anything to get some grant money or free publicity….

    Light rail runs at grade in Tacoma, Portland and San Francisco (to name just a few places) and we don’t have any more “diversity” or a higher number of stupid people than they do.

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