20 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: That’s Why It’s 30”

  1. Great ad!

    Last I checked in with ST about physical barriers to stop the left hooks on MLK, they seemed pretty satisfied with Link’s current safety record. Plus, crossing gates, they asserted, would mess up the signal timing.

    Given the percentages in the ad, I don’t think it is time for ST to rest on its laurels.

    1. So I guess all the 35 mph zones are to give everyone a 50/50 chance of making it. That seems fair!

      1. Except that folks in Bellevue routinely drive 40+ in 35mph zones…

        Bellevue’s wide streets, with few or no parked cars, makes it feel safer to go faster, even though it’s not.

    2. All along E Burnside Ave the MAX runs down the middle of the street just like Link does on MLK. And there are very few, if any, accidents. There are very few crossing gates here on the MAX system, and where there are crossing gates are where the RoW is more separated and crossing a busier road.

      I think that the accidents we have had so far are either caused be people being stupid or just not being used to having the hazard of the Link.

      So, give it time, and under the current system the accident rate will drop to nil. I believe that Sound Transit has done what it needs to do, the rest is in the court of the people that drive around on MLK.

      Just like it is here.

      1. I remember when the first MAX line opened up, there were quite a few car vs train accidents, especially near Lloyd Center since there’s so many streets and cars there. Over time, the accident rate dropped, so its easy to hope that the same thing will happen in the Rainier Valley.

    3. I think the simplest/best solution for MLK is to add camera enforcement for left turns.

      I mean, sure, the safety record is pretty decent, but every time it happens, trains are delayed for what seems like hours.

      In Japan, if you cause a train delay, you have to pay restitution to the govt. to make up for the lost worker productivity for every person on the train you made late (or so the story goes). If you commit suicide on the tracks, it’s said they send your family the bill.

      1. “Is the speed limit for Max also 30 mph on the at-grade stretches?”

        Exactly…and what is the speed of LINK? And based on it’s much higher mass, shouldn’t it be going 20 mph when at grade on highly trafficked streets?

  2. The UK is quite fond of making this point, but with far more graphic advertisements. They also set the precedent for the pictures of damaged tissue on cigarette packs which the FDA is now adopting. I hope we don’t follow their car accident advertisement lead as well.

      1. Ah, the high-visibility safety jacket. The only rainwear that can make Seattleites look fashionable.

      1. We in the USA do not have the balls to show a PSA like that one.

        We wouldn’t want to bug you.

        The auto and oil industry won’t allow it anyways.

      2. …I think that may be the most disturbing thing I have ever seen. Well, almost right up there with Threads.

        But whatever you do, don’t read the comments on the YouTube page.

  3. I hate having somebody behind me trying to make me feel like a road hazard because I’m driving competently at the legal speed limit. But also admit it’s aggravating to be following someone who is driving too slowly and hesitantly to be safe.

    One of the worst consequences of this country’s absolute dependence on private automobiles for public transportation is that the right to drive a car far outranks the right to carry a gun as a de facto Constitutional mandate. And as a real public menace.

    In countries where fully-developed transit systems are the rule, the authorities have fewer problems limiting the right to drive an automobile to people who won’t use it to deprive others of their right to life.

    Wouldn’t it be great if, based on a rigorous road test, giving the police the authority to issue either a driver’s license or a yearly transit pass good on every sytem nationwide? Everybody would still have the right to travel. But only those who can do so safely would have the right to drive a car.

    Mark Dublin

  4. Car makers can be blamed for building “over-powered” cars. Electric motor drive is a safety factor. The torque curve of an electric motor is ‘flat’ thus better for control and stability. The regenerative braking potential of electric motor drive is another safety feature that can be considered a legislative mandate. Plug-in hybrid technology is the most advantageous/beneficial, moreso than battery-electric and way more than hydrogen fuel cell.

    1. I was with you until the last statement.

      Given that Hydrogen allows for a “pure” electric motor (without having two drive trains, two motors) and zero emissions compared to a hybrid.

      And given that Hydrogen does not lose energy when idle (unlike a battery which does).

      And given that there is no loss in energy from transmission of hydrogen.

      It seems like FCVs are the overall winner in the renewable race for automobiles.

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