Preventing pedestrian accidents on Phoenix’s light rail

[Source: Casey Newton, Arizona Republic] — Slow train coming… With just over 100 days left until the Valley’s light-rail system opens, the City Council is getting serious about safety.  When Metro light-rail CEO Rick Simonetta stopped by a council meeting this week to give members a progress report, the council grilled him about how motorists and pedestrians can stay safe around the trains. “I worry about pedestrian traffic,” Councilwoman Peggy Neely said.  “A lot of folks at the office buildings kind of float back and forth (across the street) and are used to that.”

Neely’s right.  Every day at lunch time, hundreds of people cross the light-rail tracks at First Avenue and Adams Street without so much as a sideways glance to check for trains.  That’s fine for now — train testing won’t resume downtown till the end of this month, Metro officials say.  But when it does, pedestrians will need to be much more careful.  In the meantime, Metro is trying to come up with a slogan to remind people to stay off the tracks. May I suggest: “Don’t be a hobo; stay off the tracks.”  If you can think of something catchier, send an e-mail and I’ll pass it along.

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