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Fitchburg Line train hits car in Belmont

Major delays on the Fitchburg Line again this morning, this time due to a car/train collision at Brighton Street in Belmont. NECN reports the car was stopped on the tracks and the driver was trying to get three children out when the train hit.

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Happens every week. Another driver delaying hundreds of people and putting them in danger. Arrest the driver and terminate their license.

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If the cops want to arrest her, they will have to wait until the woman driving the car recovers from serious injuries suffered while trying to get three passengers 10 years old and under out of the car. This according to the Globe.

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Sigh. When will people learn that you should NOT stop on the tracks if you can't clear them? (for that matter, don't block the box either!)

I commute through here all the time and people STILL stop on the tracks despite the brand spanking new DON'T STOP ON THE TRACKS signs.

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They lay on the horn and gesture and scream at you if you ARE smart enough to not cross the tracks!!! Because they want their turn to be killed if traffic moves ahead and the gates come down, I guess!

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I live near this crossing and have had it happen to me. No, you idiot, I am not going to risk getting hit by a train for your benefit.

The other place I frequently get honked at for refusing to block the tracks is the West Medford crossing on Route 60 at Playstead Road--another place that seems to have a high frequency of car/train collisions.

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They lay on the horn and gesture and scream at you if you ARE smart enough to not cross the tracks

1) Make it a $1,000+ fine to stop on railroad tracks.

2) Make it something like a $500 fine for unnecessary use of the horn within 100 feet of a railroad crossing.

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for unnecessary use of the horn PERIOD.

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I believe "unnecessary use of horn" is still against the law there,

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/29/nyregion/new-york-removes-no-honking-s...

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Boston is way smaller. If it was a law here, it would be easier to enforce. It should be a thing. I'd like it if a cop picked one intersection at random, and hung out all day, ticketing. You wouldn't have to blanket the streets with them. I feel like some targeted enforcement could create a knock-on effect.

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Boston is way smaller. If it was a law here, it would be easier to enforce.

How does Boston being a smaller city than NYC make it easier to enforce the law here than it would be in NYC?

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i used to work close by . in the morning theres bad traffic thats backed up to the tracks with traffic headed towards ABP and theres a bus stop right near the track plus school busses drop kids off also right after the track . we all know drivers in this state are going to do what they do best : whatever they want , including stopping on a train track . i remember seeing a car on it once and the gates started to drop , the guy went on the wrong side of the road and just sat there blocking traffic... You ever see those people doing dumb things and when they get beeped at they have a look like " what am i supposed to do ? i cant go anywhere " ( usually the look when someones blocking the box )

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this would make a hell of a "Don't block the box, idiot" ad.

In case people don't learn from the ad, I'm also in favor of introducing a BPD demolition derby car whose job it is to ram cars that block the box

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That would be awesome. A self driving intersection clearing plow!

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I'm picturing a giant set of windshield wipers

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Au Bon Pain? Is there one near there?

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Alewife Brook Parkway

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Sounds like it is more complicated than trying to beat the train (she wouldn't have time to get out of the car if trying to go around the gates). Also says it doesn't appear traffic was backed up at the time of the accident.

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_coverage/2016/12/police_3_kids_es...

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Is this another one of those "thought it was a road" situations like before?

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there's a possibility that she stalled on the tracks (as opposed to deliberately stopping due to traffic on the other side).

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Less complicated. She got on the tracks and couldn't clear them and was sitting there when the gates came down. That's an unforced error.

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I don't believe that there was no traffic jam. There's ALWAYS a traffic jam on Brighton st. in the morning.
And to counter your point of "she wouldn't have time..." - she stops on the tracks, the bells start ringing and the gates lower. She can't proceed forward, so she gets out and starts pulling kids out. She has probably 30 seconds to 1 minute to do this.

"Sources told WBZ-TV’s Paul Burton the woman was stuck in traffic, causing her to be stuck on the tracks, but police would not confirm."
http://boston.cbslocal.com/2016/12/09/commuter-rail-crash-belmont/

OK, this is coming from "sources", but being 'stuck' in traffic is not the same as being 'stuck' on the tracks. I suppose we have to wait for the investigation results to really draw any conclusions about this 'mom of the year'.

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Ah, there we go

"He said there was heavy traffic at the time of the accident, and there were cars in front of and behind the woman’s car on either side of the gates."

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/12/09/inbound-fitchburg-train-del...

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Two conflicting things:

A) I am told, or led to believe, that the MBTA for very good reasons will not allow any new at-grade crossings.

B) Putting a bridge over the tracks, either at current grade crossings, or at new locations will send residents on those streets into convulsions, again for very good reasons.
Once you have a bridge there will a ton of people driving over that (just look at Alewife brook parkway) and there will no longer be a "speed breaker" as good as a train gate. Apps like Waze make this situation inevitable.
The idea of putting an additional crossing between the Alewife triangle and quadrangle was abrogated, perhaps because the developers of the spaceship-like apartment complexes on Cambridge Park Dr love the dead-end street that it is right now.
A commuter rail stop and/or pedestrian bridge at that location is likely going no-where.

The situation is bound to stay the way it is, with commuter rail bearing all the blame for bad planning outside its purview.
The train that hit the car is express between Waltham and Porter Sq. Until very recently it had a stop in Belmont Ctr. This incident is likely going to get that stop re-instated by Belmont to reduce the train's speed through the Blanchard St intersection.

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The train that hit the car is express between Waltham and Porter Sq.

Actually the next train is the express from Waltham to Porter. 406, the train that hit the car, makes all stops.

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B) Putting a bridge over the tracks, either at current grade crossings, or at new locations will send residents on those streets into convulsions, again for very good reasons.

OMG, how dare they place a SAFER overpass or underpass where a LESS SAFE at-grade crossing once existed. But the NIMBYs like you don't want that because it will allow people to travel down the street without needing to stop for the train - so let's keep the less safe condition for everyone. Great logic there.

The train that hit the car is express between Waltham and Porter Sq. Until very recently it had a stop in Belmont Ctr. This incident is likely going to get that stop re-instated by Belmont to reduce the train's speed through the Blanchard St intersection.

Not the first time an 'express' train has struck a vehicle on a crossing resulting in injuries - see http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/RAB9805.pdf for an example case - , and it likely won't be the last. But the MBTA hasn't reinstated stops or cancelled 'express' services as a result of those previous incidents, and there are no legitimate reasons to do so here.

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There is little that can be done at this location. They cannot bury the train because the water table is very high. A bridge over it? Laughable.

At least look at street view before you go all aspie.

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And my response was not directed at the specifics of this crossing, but to Space2001's comment about "will send residents on those streets into convulsions" comment.

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She risked her life to save her kids who were trapped in the vehicle according to the news. Yes she made a mistake but at rush hour at that intersection and many other intersections with gate crossings traffic is backed up. As far as enforcement I would wager that the Transit Police nor the Belmont police have issued any citations at that grade crossing in the past year.
The state police have the specialized units to deal with traffic and they have the expertise to investigate these type of serious accidents.

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That's a bit more than just a mistake- and she wouldn't be hurt, or having to pull the kids out of the car if she hadn't been too close. I'm sorry but considering the "box" (the painted lines that warn drivers not to get any closer, you know the safety precautions?????) is set up to keep people from pulling up too close to the crossings, traffic or not, why risk it?

I just ignore people who beep at me when I'm at a crossing, as I know better than to get too close. Especially since I lost a classmate back in high school who ignored a crossing, went around, and was hit & killed. I wouldn't wish that on anyone, ever.

And reading in the news that two of the children weren't even hers. May seem harsh, but I refuse to call her a hero, when ALL of it could have been avoided.

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My understanding is Keolis safety officials alongside federal railroad safety personnel were at this crossing several weeks ago. They go around preaching about railroad crossing safety and handing out safety literature to passing vehicles and pedestrians. I know the Transit Police partner up with the local police and get involved in these events. The T has a lot of crossings and this is an all too common problem.

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" but at rush hour at that intersection and many other intersections with gate crossings traffic is backed up"

Horseshit argument. That is not an excuse to stop on the tracks, especially with kids in the car. I drive through that intersection weekly (when Belmont Center is too backed up), there are brand new signs there saying DO NOT STOP ON TRACKS and guess what, most people obey, but some still do. Then again, I'm the 'asshole' who doesn't proceed forward to block the intersection so that good guy Greg in a rush behind me can make a right turn, no matter how much honking happens.

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If you stop on the tracks and the crossing gates come down and if you have no room to maneuver, you'll panic. Yes you will. And you'll try to drive around the car in front of you or back up around the car behind you. What tends to happen is that your tires will get stuck on the tracks if you go off that crossing made for cars.

I worked for a railroad for a few years and it happened ALL THE TIME. Some people were not paying attention. Some did a Michael Scott and followed their GPS. Some tried to beat the train. Most died.

This is obvious but tracks are not roads. Your tires are not meant for them. If you're stuck, get out, get away from your car, and call 911 so they stop all train traffic, de-electrify the tracks, and probably HIRE A CRANE and lift your car off.

Or, you know, don't stop on the tracks and fucking look for a train.

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From what the Globe article says, she may have been hemmed in by other cars. A reminder never to enter a railway crossing less than a car length behind the car ahead of you.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/12/09/inbound-fitchburg-train-del...

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My preferred way to not get my car hit by a train is to leave my car at home, and be one of the people ON the train.

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