Transportation

Metro Addresses Spike In Accidents Along Light Rail Line

After a dramatic increase in accidents earlier this summer, Metro is appealing to drivers, walkers, and cyclists to be careful near the light rail lines.

Pedestrians cross the light rail line on Scott Street at Holman
Pedestrians cross the light rail line on Scott Street at Holman near the University of Houston.

In June, Metro investigated 17 accidents on its light rail lines. Those accidents involved both cars and pedestrians, and in one case, a bike. Two of those pedestrians died. 

Metro is now appealing to people to take out their earbuds and put down their phones when they’re walking near the tracks. When it comes to vehicles, Metro CEO Tom Lambert says reckless driving is a big problem. 

“Downtown what we’ve really been seeing is people running red lights. And so, that’s something we’ve really asked police to concentrate on,” says Lambert. “And even in the Medical Center, it’s more illegal turns, and so, how can we really do that from an enforcement standpoint.”

Metro’s light rail system is mostly at-grade, forcing all modes of transportation to interact. But Lambert says they have made some changes, especially near the South Loop, where those two fatality accidents happened.

“Where the gates come down now we’ve got audible signals that come on constantly. We didn’t do that prior to the accidents in June. They’re looking at more fencing along certain corridors to see if we ought to change that,” says Lambert. 

Accidents along the light rail lines are down in July with five being reported so far.

More videos: 

Collision: Car cuts in front of moving Metro Light Rail train in downtown Houston

Near Miss: Cyclist cuts in front of Metro Light Rail train

Near Miss: Woman steps right in front of moving Metro Light Rail train in downtown Houston 

Near Miss: Man dashes in front of Metro Light Rail train in Houston Medical Center

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Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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