T bus driver trying to evade ticket in Kenmore Square plows into BTD supervisor, cars

Crash aftermath. Photo by Susan Zalkind.Crash aftermath. Note cluster of meter maids on right. Photo by Susan Zalkind.

A city transportation worker is in the hospital this morning following a confrontation with an MBTA bus driver in Kenmore Square that ended with the driver plowing into the worker - and several parked cars - WBZ reports.

The collisions, which happened around 8:30 a.m., started as an incident in which a BTD supervisor told the driver - eating breakfast - to move her bus out of a left-turn lane and the driver refused, WBZ says.

Kenmore Square quickly became a giant parking lot as emergency vehicles and police flooded the area.

Nancy Chen at WHDH reports the driver was noshing on a bagel and drinking coffee when she was asked to move.

Another photo of the scene.



Free tagging: 


probably ...only T bus

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probably ...only T bus drivers are exempt from traffic rules and laws of the road.

*Passes the Popcorn*

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Waiting to see how the Carman's Union goes to bat for this driver, and the excuses they will come up with.

Who, what, where?

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I'm confused by the description of what happened. I take it the bus was stopped in the left-hand lane outside of the BU bookstore for more than one light cycle? Where did these "parked cars" come from? Based on the pictures I've seen, they would have to have been parked in that same left lane, also blocking turning traffic? Is perhaps the phrase "parked cars" incorrect, and these car were actually waiting for a light change?

Crash location

No, I suspect the bus was parked in the left-hand lane, along the outside of the busway - the lane that, as per the reports, heads towards Brookline Avenue. I was puzzled about the "parked cars" as well, but I've seen buses parked in that lane when the busway is full and the buses are laying over before starting a fresh trip. Sometimes they just circle around to come back through the busway a few minutes later, but sometimes they do indeed just park in that lane. Unfortunately, the busway itself is not big enough to accommodate all of the buses coming through at rush hour, especially now that some of the parking space along the left of the busway has been reallocated for staffer's cars.

So, the busway actually has

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less capacity than it did before. But perhaps we should still feel good that the MBTA wasted all that money to "remodel" Kenmore Station and the busway in glass and steel.

The finest minds

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They provide us with a shelter that leaks in the rain and doesn't provide shade in the sun. And they cleverly designed the station so that passengers rushing downstairs to connect to the subway collide with the passengers moving up to queue for the bus.

Looking at the picture above, did they take some "police line" tape and add "MBTA" as an afterthought?

The "new" Kenmore Station and busway

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are a perfect example of what happens when somebody's asthetic visions override the concept of functional design. And when you let neighborhood groups control the design process instead of transportation planners and engineers.

The design "process"

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While you may be right about the shelter, I think that the passenger flow problem is due to the work of the "transportation planners and engineers" and their incredible "foresight." The placement of stairwells and escalators is something for which they are responsible.

Though... I don't think the people who botched that even deserve to hold such titles as "planner" or "engineer."


Engineers don't miss stuff

Engineers don't miss stuff like traffic flow. That's what makes engineers so valuable is the training to think things in a utilitarian manner - many times at the cost of aesthetics. This has to be a design made by people from some art school that look down to thinking anything about functionality and pass to the engineer who has no power to say anything.

At least I hope so.

Well they're not supposed to

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But my point is that passes for "traffic or transportation engineering" is not engineering or science, but rather a cult masquerading as one.

For example, if you glance at a traffic "study" one of the first things you might notice is some wording of the form: "We assume traffic levels will rise at a rate of 0.5% per year." (Which is, BTW, exponential growth).

But if you check the actual numbers, then you find that in fact, traffic has not increased that way over the past decade, and even went down.

Now normally in a science, when your assumptions turn out to be countered by data, you re-examine and revise them.

But in the traffic "engineering" cult, they just wave that away and say "but we've always done it this way." And as a result, they fail.

The same goes for other aspects of transportation. My hypothesis is that the Kenmore access points were designed by some architect as an afterthought, because American engineers don't seem to care about that issue enough to double-check. They were more concerned with making the pedestrian experience as ridiculous as possible above-ground; forcing people to hop from island-to-island, and having them wonder why the walk signal isn't working even though it's perfectly safe to cross.

Only recession and huge oil hikes decreased travel

If you look at the data, traffic has flattened and slightly decreased the first time since travel mile stats have been documented. Other recessions at worst, flattened miles for a year, this recession is far worse. People without jobs to go to, deliveries to make, services to perform, and money to spend shopping and recreating is what reduces travel. With the internet, people are also sending their money and sales tax out of state so they don't travel to and support local retailers and jobs. Traffic=economic activity. Less travel is a bad sign.

Where traffic engineers are really stupid is thinking computer programs simulate traffic flow or what its like to drive a big truck or city bus on a road. MBTA diesel buses cover 27 million miles every year. Do street planners and designers ever talk to the drivers? Of course not! Instead, having no experience driving trucks themselves, they decide to make roads too narrow and corners too tight because a computer program indicated it was OK. So what if there are lots of cyclists or double parking, the programs said OK.

The way I see it, the passenger flow problem

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at Kenmore Station is directly the result of a planning process that eliminated the "rebuild the entire station so it works right" option from the start.

Those are the types of blind edicts and directives that come from neighborhood groups and politicians, not engineers and planners.


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They could have installed the escalator on the other side, where the stairwell is.

Passengers alight, go directly down the stairs. Passengers from the subway come directly up the escalator and go straight to the bus.

Instead, they're crossed up.


The escalator and stairway to

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The escalator and stairway to the busway where in the same location before the station was rebuilt, that was not changed. I think the staircase is above the passageway heading to the south side of Kenmore Sq. It possible that an escalator pit and machine room might not fit in that space with the passageway below.

In the mornings, there are often

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buses parked on Comm Ave (inbound, anyway) just outside the busway if the busway is too full inside. Sigh.

As a veteran Boston J-Walker,

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As a veteran Boston J-Walker, I can tell you that the thing I fear the most is a T bus driver. The rules do not apply to them. You can be 100% sure they will blast through a yellow light and 200% sure they blow through the first 20 seconds of red as well. Crosswalks might as well be bullseyes.

Unintended consequences

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Hey, Matthew. You see what happens when you take away 150 parking meters in Kenmore? BTD still has to make its quota, even without all those extra cars, so the meter maid tries to ticket a benched bus just outside of the depot. And now someone's in the hospital and multiple cars are damaged.

Congratulations. I hope you're happy.

Grand Unifying Theory of Massholes

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Buses don't kill people. Trucks don't kill people. Bikes don't kill people. Cars don't kill people. Parking meters and quotas don't kill people.

Massholes kill people.

(maim and kill, okay)

Fist of all Kaz, you have no

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Fist of all Kaz, you have no clue what you are talking about. There is no quota for BTD, second of all, every single bus I have ever seen does whatever they want. They blow red lights, don't stop @ crosswalks, and when they stop at a bus stop they are supposed to pull in curbside, I have never seen them do it. Then they think when they pull away from a bus stop they can just pull right out even while the traffic is already flowing. If the bus was parked in a no stopping zone and the driver was just sitting there having her breakfast and was asked to move by the BTD supervisor and refused to move because why, she thinks she can do what she wants. Would she give a Boston cop a hard time if he asked her to move,? I highly doubt it. I'm pretty sure she would just move along. So whether the bus was benched as you call it, BTD and BPD will call it NO STOPPING ANY TIME as the signs read.. which means NO STOPPING for anyone, it doesn't matter if it is near a bus station or not. That is up to the MBTA to provide their own area for the buses to pull in to take a break. The buses also love to pull over and idle while they just sit there, and i believe that is a rule about that and you will receive a $500 fine for it, but most MBTA buses don't follow that rule either. But back to the Driver who plowed into a parking enforcement supervisor and other multiple cars, it doesn't matter what the driver thinks is okay to do, if she is asked to move from any spot then she needs to just move along, and keep it going. I hope she loses her job and the people that were hurt and vehicles that were damaged sue the shit out of her...You may want to get your facts straight before you try to state facts that are completely false.

If you cannot read the sign

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If you cannot read the sign that says NO STOPPING ANYTIME then you should not be driving a bus. Oh, I forgot ...don't they get their "bus" drivers license in a T parking lot. The lot is obviously somewhere without other PEOPLE, CARS or TRAFFIC SIGNS.

Know your facts before opening your trap!

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There are no signs that read no parking, no stopping or no standing pin head. The traffic is designed to travel around the shaded yellow area outside of the station( not sure why). On the busiest day any vehicle parked there will not impede traffic in anyway (not even a 45ft bus). After the silly incident signs will be put there."Can't all of the city workers get along"


I have a website for you!


You can download a driver's manual there. In it, you will learn that travel lanes need not be marked "no stopping", as that is the default situation.

Are you going to go park your car on I-93 because it isn't marked "no stopping or standing" in each lane ever 1/4 mile?


What does this have to do

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What does this have to do with a bus driver who was breaking the law? So you're saying the bus driver was in the right for her behavior? I know you love to be the contrarion but you sound like an idiot here.

This was the best comment i

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This was the best comment i ever read. I absolutely agree with this blogger. The a-hole meter maid had to give that ticket. Quotas were catching up with her. Hey the money was in the bag. All she had to do was air mail the dam ticket and none of this #$^* would not have happened.


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BPD T Buss driver is at fault
TPD The city worker is at fault
MSP both get tickets
BUPD both get tickets and the parked cars get tickets also

T bus accident

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Did I read the article correctly. The bus driver was on a breakfast break...hmmm...I thought you only got a paid break AFTER you worked a 4 yes four hour shift. As far as I know ALL or MOST MBTA bus drivers work split shifts 4 hours go home then another 4 hours. In addition, a comment was made by a passerby "She (referring to the bus driver I assume) finally got caught". Traffic is atrocious in Kenmore Square this bus driver obviously sits in this active traffic lane EVERYDAY blocking traffic. I hope that she passes her alcohol and drug screening test. Not to be bitter but I don't think she used her best judgement "moving" the bus INTO a person and two cars.

If this is the driver I think it is

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"She (referring to the bus driver I assume) finally got caught".

If this is the driver I think it is (and it looks like her from the TV reports), she has pulled things like this before. I was on the bus in Kenmore Square once and she pulled over and left the bus full of people blocking traffic for something like 15 minutes. She just vanished. I don't know where she went. She had already been ranting and raving in an unpleasant manner for a while. I thought maybe she just up and quit or something. Can't the T do something about these rogue drivers before an incident like this happens?

"the MBTA driver refused and

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"the MBTA driver refused and continued to eat her breakfast.

The supervisor then stepped in front of the bus and started writing a ticket.

But when the traffic light turned green, investigators say the driver took off in the bus, hitting the supervisor and then pushing two cars into the brick median on Commonwealth Avenue."

America runs on Dunkin'.

Is this a joke? The MBTA bus

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Is this a joke? The MBTA bus driver hit a transit officer with her bus...no citation given. If you or I were driving to work in traffic, got road rage, and hit someone we would be give a ticket AND if it were INTENTIONAL we would probably be handcuffed and brought to the nearest police station.

Attempted Murder?

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If you deliberately attack someone with a motor vehicle, isn't that attempted murder?

Or do the usual "she was at work" and "its a vehicle so its ok" exemptions apply?

I was attacked by two bus drivers

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I was riding my bike and attacked by two off-duty MBTA bus drivers who didn't like me trying to take a picture of their license plate (the driver tried to brake-check me.)

One of them hit me with a glass bottle; the other tried to kick me, but I managed to block the attack with my bag. While I tried a second time to get a picture of their plate, the driver got back in and nearly hit me backing up and peeling out.

There was a witness who saw the whole thing, but when it came before the magistrate, the MBTA driver told a radically different story and swore up and down that she'd NEVER break the law, because she's worked for the MBTA for several decades and GOSH they're just the pinnacle of law-abidedness.

The magistrate dismissed the case immediately - even when I pointed out that there was a witness who would back me, and prove she was lying to a magistrate. He didn't care.

The detective shrugged and said "that's how it goes."

Couple of weeks later I'm on my bike standing at the edge of the curb outside a bus stop checking my phone, and I look over my shoulder to see a 39 bus flying at me. He passes with less than a foot to spare- clearly buzzing me - on his way into the spot.

Want to read more? Google "grimlocke mbta" and you can read about her getting buzzed (and hit by!) mbta drivers.

That sucks

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and they shouldn't do that to you, but I have a hard time being sympathetic to bikers given how many laws you guys break every day.

you suck

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This was an assault, and you blame the victim.

I guess you have to be sympathetic to hockey players who rape with all the young women around them making them think of sex all the time, too?

Not a left turn lane

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Driver was probably parked here, where you can see all these vehicles parked.


Not a parking area, but not a turn lane either. A simple sign would make it legal bus parking.

MBTA buses park there all the time, the inspector was out of line for citing a driver for doing what she was probably told to do.