Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Mass-transit-acre

Bike-PGH has a regular "Car-nage" section in their blog where they discuss the regular car accidents that could have been avoided if everybody switched over to riding bicycles. Welcome to the mass-transit-acre. (It's a play on massacre. If you have a better quip, I'm all ears.)

Last month, I got some slack for posting on Port Authority accidents. Folks said it's just normal wear and tear because we have so many buses roaming the streets. I countered by saying that I don't want your-average-joe driving my bus. I've never managed to kill someone, and if you manage to kill someone while driving, you should not be driving a bus. I don't want to deter folks from taking the bus, but I still have the right to demand high standards for my bus drivers.

So far in June, we have two pedestrian victims:

June 2: A man was in critical condition after surgery because he "was running to catch the bus when he fell and was doubled over as the bus ran over him."

June 14:
An elderly man "started running after the bus and was banging on its side, Ritchie said. He fell beneath the back of the articulated bus — a long vehicle with accordion-like joints — and was run over." This man died.

According to Port Authority spokesman Jim Ritchie, these tragedies are under investigation.

"In some cases, the investigation shows that our drivers did something that wasn't by the book. When that happens, they're cited or something is done internally," he said.


erok said...

i have to say, we don't post the crashes because we think that they could be avoided if everyone rode bicycles. we post them because it's a sad fact that death on the road has been normalized and accepted. another day, another death. if this was gun violence, or the swine flu, people and the media would be going crazy. i'm not even going to get into the amount of municipal services (taxes) that towns consider a necessary expense needed to handle crashes.

you're right tho, many of the deaths that we post could have been avoided. people just need to slow down.

erok said...

i also want to say that i laughed when i read it. in a good way. i realized i may have come off sounding too defensive. darn internet

shadow said...

The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85 President, Pat McMahon, was quoted this week (regarding a non-accident investigation):

"Someone is doing something wrong if you're paying someone for 15 months to sit at home," he said.

That doesn't mean a suspension without pay wouldn't result in a grievance from the union. You're not cynical enough.

ClickNathan said...

It sounds like in both of those incidents the victims were at fault as much as the drivers, more so maybe. All the facts aren't posted here so it's hard to tell, but if someone's running and banging on the bus, in my opinion, they're too late. You missed the bus.

And it is a giant steel box that moves very fast, trying to bang on it isn't exactly going to make it stop. It's horrible when anyone gets hurt or killed doing anything, but I'm hesitant to jump on the drivers for the behavior of passengers.