Woman, son learn the hard way why you need to be on the right platform at Kendall

The MBTA reports an Attleboro woman and her son, almost 5, plunged to the tracks around 6 p.m. yesterday, and were taken to the hospital as a precaution, although they did not appear seriously hurt. According to the T, the woman told emergency responders she thought she could get onto the Alewife train in the station at the time from the southbound platform.

The action in the video starts around 0:30. It's the second time this year somebody wound up on Red Line tracks trying to get to a train on the other side of the station.



    Free tagging: 



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    Seriously, and here we are arguing if signs should be changed to comply with law so people don't run into them.

    Did police check her prescription meds?

    That 5th step's a doozy

    Now, I'm just guessing, but is the woman not from the Boston area?
    B/c as far as I can recall, there is not 1 platform in the MBTA system where doing what she tried to do is possible.

    Even at Park St you have to be savvy enough to walk through an idling train car(that still has the doors open) to even cut across to the center platform.

    See that 2 foot wide yellow band with a raised texture?
    Yes, it's meant to be 'caution yellow' for a reason.

    I'm trying really hard to be kind here,
    but holy focused dipshittery Batman. :facepalm:

    She's not from around here

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    Clearly she's not from Boston, or Earth for that matter. She took that last step like a Looney Tunes character that hadn't read the "Gravity" book.

    In Cartoon Physics, gravity

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    In Cartoon Physics, gravity only kicks in when you look down. She didn't look down, and fell anyway.

    Also looks like she needs to

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    Also looks like she needs to be charged with fare evasion as she held the gates open for about three people coming thru the turnstile!

    I can see how this would

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    I can see how this would happen, and why it doesn't happen more often is surprising. If you are unfamiliar with the station, and if the platform is crowded, and you see a train a certain distance stopped before you NOT OBSTRUCTED BY A BARRIER BETWEEN NORTH AND SOUTHBOUND LINES, and if you were moving quickly enough toward the train, you could possibly fail to see the yellow caution strip before its too late because you're focused solely on the train ahead of you and your brain thinks that naturally, the platform must extend outward toward the train. This is why most stations block your view of the train on the other side of the station with a partition. I believe Kendall has no such barrier between tracks.

    Kendall has a barrier

    The barrier at Kendall is partially the 'chimes' art, and partially the regular type of semi-arched support columns that are in many of the other red line stations.

    I'm sorry, but if you are holding the hand of a child, and are unsure of the transportation set-up, why the hell would you just barge across? And really, if I saw a huge gap with no people standing in it, common sense would lead me to think 'oh hey, they're not standing in that space for a reason. Since it's a train station, maybe I'll look around first before I just go stand there.'

    I don't see the chimes

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    I don't see the chimes installation, or any other barrier in the video. I'm pretty sure (and I'm going by memory) that some stretches of that platform don't have a barrier directly between this entrance and the view towards the other side of the station. I can only surmise that a combination of circumstances (and that includes the possibility of unfamiliarity with the station, confusion, or even intoxication) led to this lady's perception being fooled into thinking she was headed for a train that had pulled in and was waiting on her side. If inebriation were to be ruled out, what other explanation can there be for this mis-perception? This happened in a matter of seconds, and who among us has not experienced a a matter of moments when we see something that is not really there, or fail to see something that is there, merely due to position, lighting and timing? I'm sorry, I'm just not ready to throw this lady under the train just yet.


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    Well, the gaping chasm between her and the train might be considered a barrier. Even when I'm distracted I'm more likely to be looking down than up -- and would therefore probably be the idiot to walk into the low-hung stop sign and not into the T pit. Everyone's an idiot at some time in their own special way. You just hope that it's not being caught on tape when it happens, like this poor woman. Or the lady in the wheelchair going up the escalator.

    The gap isn't really all that visible.

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    The chimes are a little further down, and in my experience, the forced perspective makes it very difficult to tell which side the train is on until you get close, and the crowd was presumably blocking view of the gap making it even harder to tell. And if you're dragging around a distracting little child and the doors are seemingly "about to open" you're going to want to hurry.


    Well, the second obvious barrier would have been the doors to the subway car being closed?? It's not like the train just pulled in. :)

    Yeah, but did the woman know

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    Yeah, but did the woman know that the train had not just pulled in? Could she have assumed the doors would open shortly if she thought it had just pulled in? Don't forget the crowd and the turnstiles were probably blocking her view before she entered the platform, then after she did enter, she looks back for a while toward the turnstile she had entered from to hand someone something, or to get her ticket out, then turns around to face the train while holding the kid in one arm (not holding his hand and having him walk as some have said - that would have slowed her down). The time between her turning around to face the train and her falling in is just a matter of seconds. I know that when I enter a platform to find a train waiting, and not knowing how long its been there, I'll move straight toward it with the expectation that it will open its doors, up until the point I see the train moving away.

    Thank God they are all right.

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    I felt sick watching that video an anticipating what would happen. And kudos to the folks on the platform who jumped right it and got them out.

    I don't get it

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    What was she going to do when she got to the train? It's not like the doors opened on her side either.

    We're assuming that everyone

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    We're assuming that everyone is fully focused on the task at hand at all times. Hardly. I've seen people walk into poles while reading their phones. Sometimes life gets in the way and people do stupid things. The conversation re: barriers is an interesting one. I admit the 1st thing i thought of were the big concrete barriers that (used to?) stand between the rails on some of the other stations. And great job by everyone who jumped in- only would have taken a second for that disoriented kid to have grabbed the 3rd rail.

    Another perfect example

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    Another perfect example of why people should have to have a license to have children. Did this woman have to study to be this stupid?

    If she had attempted to climb

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    If she had attempted to climb down onto the tracks to cross them, THAT would be stupid. Her eyes (or at least her head) were looking directly ahead, so it's not like she wasn't looking - it just looks like she failed to see the gap, for whatever reason. Does that make a person stupid? Accidents happen to bright people too. So many people here are so eager to shout dumbass without facts, you'd think this was the Herald.

    A smart person might have

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    A smart person might have noticed that not another single person on the crowded platform was rushing toward the train and perhaps pause for a second to think about why that was.

    She didn't fail to mind the gap

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    The gap is the couple of inches between a train and the platform. If you trip you fall onto train floor or platform. She walked off the platform. That's different.

    Running to catch trains

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    I think this dim woman is in a category unto herself, but another aspect of this situation is the more common "running like crazy to catch the train at any cost" phenomenon that I see every day. People who are not even near the entrance to stations will start running like maniacs if they see or hear the train approaching or already stopped at the station. It seems almost to be a reflex. I know it's frustrating to miss the train, and with the T the way it is you never quite know when the next train will show up, but for heaven's sake people, it's not the end of the world. Unless it's the last train of the night, another one WILL show up. It's rreally not worth running for.


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    One of the best things I ever learned in Boston was, "You don't run after men or trains unless you know for sure it's the last one."

    I used to be that way myself

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    until one night in January 1996 when, despite my best efforts, I missed the 5:15 train to Haverhill (which runs express to Wakefield) by about thirty seconds.

    Turned out it was for the best, as that was the train that struck the lowboy trailer which got hung up on the Forest Street crossing in Wakefleid. See http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/summary/RAB9805... for the details.

    Ever since then, I don't run like a madman to catch trains or buses. As anon stated, it's really not worth running for.

    Bouncer Moves

    I was on a fully packed red line train that was about to depart Kendall. Some jerk came flying through the gates and I could see right away that he was going to try to use momentum to shove his way on to the train at my door (I was positioned to get off at Central).

    He slammed into the train ... and met my mosh-pit trained blocking forearms and braced body instead of ram-jamming the elderly and somewhat frail couple next to me.

    He bounced out, the doors closed, and the train moved on.


    See the post one above mine about "people running for trains do the damnedest things".

    And then...

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    ...and then everyone on the train applauded.

    two sets of doors

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    Between people falling on the tracks and the suicide delays would it really be asking too much to wall off the tracks with doors that line up with the train doors?

    By all means, let's spend

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    several million dollars to put in your platform door systems. And for what, to prevent incidents that happen a few times a year at most.

    Plus, what happens when those platform doors fail in the closed position. Given the general reliability of other MBTA equipment (like the faregates), it's a real possibility.

    Here's a much better idea: Instead of proposing we use needless technology to totally "idiot proof" the world, let's just hold people responsible and accountable for their own actions.

    I mostly agree, roadman.

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    I agree with your general sentiment, however, if these platform door systems would allow us also to have fully automated systems (driverless trains) like Lignes 1 and 14 in Paris, I might actually support it because in the end, it would be cheaper to install the technology than to pay all of the personnel and their pensions for decades, and would remove a major obstacle that prevents us from making sound public transport decisions (that same obstacle that forces the trains to do the Gov't Ctr turn that you love so much!).

    An added bonus would be seeing people who refused to clear the doors get body checked by those things - I just made it through one on Ligne 1 last year, but it caught my backpack a little, and nearly knocked me on my ass (and I'm 200 lbs)). When those things close, they mean business!

    Platform doors and the Red Line

    Besides cost, the main obstacle to installing such a system here is that not all Red Line cars have doors in the same positions. Older Red Line cars have three doors; newer ones have four.

    Channel 7

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    Channel 7 has an interview with the woman during the noon news today.

    So, she'll drive now

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    If that's how much attention she pays to what she's doing, I think it better that she not drive, either.