What is it about the red lights at the Silver Line tunnel that makes them so invisible to drivers?

For the second time in three months, a driver ran a red light at D Street in South Boston and plowed into a Silver Line bus about to descend to World Trad Center, the MBTA reports. The driver, Adam Galarza of New Bedford, was cited for failing to stop at a red light and an expired inspection sticker after the 1:40 p.m. collision, the T says, adding nobody on the bus was injured.

Compare to December's crash at the same location.



Free tagging: 


What is it about EVERY red light in this goddamn city?

Answer: a police force too busy guarding holes in the ground or driving around with their partners looking for "rea" crime to DO THEIR JOBS AND ENFORCE THE TRAFFIC LAWS. Every intersection in Boston is now a free-for-all because legions of drivers have discovered that there's no chance in hell of them getting ticketed. Even when they do, as the Globe found out, court magistrates will take damn near any excuse for zapping the ticket.

You know that anti-texting law? "Too hard to enforce", they say...yet study after study comes out saying it's worse than being drunk. Waiting for the bus this morning, every 4th driver had one hand on the wheel and the other hand holding a cell phone as low as possible and was glancing at it. A commercial box truck driver sat at a light and when it changed, as he's accelerating away, he pulls out his fucking iPhone and starts reading from it.

Writing a $100 T-space parking ticket is just too much of a bother, too. Parking tickets are for those meter-maids at BTD to write, not a Big Important Boston Police Officer. I've seen them roll up behind someone and blip their lights and siren to make the person move, rather than go through the 3 minutes it takes to write the ticket, because gosh, that sort of thing is just Below a Boston Police Officer, B.A. M.A.C.J. There are bicyclists to ticket for endangering those innocent drivers and slaughtering pedestrians!

Boston Police needs a dedicated traffic enforcement division who just go around ticketing, all the time - parking, illegal/broken equipment, and improper operation. Don't like it? Find another job...there's plenty of people who would be happy to have yours, Officer Important.

But ... but ....

Bicycles exist!

It just isn't fair!

(FTR I think all modes - including jaywalking pedestrians and light blowing cyclists and motorists - should be ticketed as they misbehave; unfortunately, too much conversation revolves around specific modes and not the generally high level of self absorbed disregard for the laws.)

At this rate

all the dual-mode buses built for the Silver Line will be destroyed in 5 years.

Why bother the police to enforce laws when you can buy a RED LIGHT CAMERA?

Painted "stop" lines are faded away

The white "stop" lines are completely faded away at that intersection, and those are a major visual cue to "stop here". As obvious as hanging traffic lights may be, without the stop lines there is something ambiguous about the intersection. Something's slightly "off" about it, and I could see some drivers - especially those unfamiliar with the area - becoming confused by a signal telling them to stop, but not telling them where. "Shit, did I just go through a red light or something?!"

I bike so I never stop for anything anyway, but I notice these things.

When you take the right from

When you take the right from Seaport Blvd. onto D St. it is only a short distance to this "intersection".... however, except for the red light, it isn't obvious to the driver that this is an intersection. And the lines on the street are faded.
Also, when light for cars turns red, there needs to be a longer delay until the bus gets a green light. That would give anyone (cars and bikes) running the red more time to get thru before a bus arrives.

There *is* a delay

when light for cars turns red, there needs to be a longer delay until the bus gets a green light. That would give anyone (cars and bikes) running the red more time to get thru before a bus arrives.

But there is a delay; it's call the yellow light. Yellow means slow down and prepare to stop, not speed up so you can run the light faster (despite what everyone driving in this town seems to think). Now you want to pad the light cycle even further by delaying the green under the assumption that X number of cars are going to run the light?



By that logic, all intersections should not be at-grade. The problem is people not paying attention or otherwise ignoring red lights, not the at-grade configuration.

It's not just about safety.

I was not suggesting that there should have been grade separation only for safety - I was thinking more that it should have been separated for increased efficiency with increased safety as a positive externality.

That intersection (and the attendant lack of a direct connection to the Williams Tunnel) costs each person riding SL1 at least 5 minutes per trip in each direction, and sometimes much more. There is also the lost productivity of people sitting in traffic caused by the poorly (or not at all) timed signals. That's a lot of lost productivity in the aggregate, the cost of which will far exceed over the life of the project (which as we all know, means many decades after its intended useful lifetime around here) what it would have cost to have built a more efficient grade-separated intersection . There is also no such thing in my book as "rapid transit" that does not have a dedicated right of way. It's a big part of the reason many people still call this thing (particularly on the other side of South Station) the Silver Lie.

Finally, I think we all have to admit that it's a little bit of a screwy design down there. Could you imagine the crashes that would happen if the Green Line C branch surfaced just east of Park Drive instead of just west (and they wouldn't even be limited to the usual suspects from NJ who had just dropped their kid off at BU)?

I think it was just poor design all around - and I also think that many people recognized that at the time, but decided that they needed to save money then - as a result, we'll be paying a much higher price to fix it later.

I've never understood this intersection

I don't use it that much, but I kind of like this bus thing. The one thing I've never understood is why the buses have to wait so long to get a light.

With accidents like this, my idea comes up. Why not treat it like a railroad crossing and put in gates and flashing lights, giving the buses priority.

Just saying.

The real problem is that

The real problem is that apparently SOMEONE benefits from delaying transit riders every day, hundreds of times a day.

Look at the video. The bus is just sitting there as not a single car drives by. Thee could be 100 people on that bus not moving, just because.

Of course, the bus gets the green the one time someone in a private vehicle wants to go by.