Milan tram No. 1807 rear-ended ‘Pacific Electric’ PCC No. 1061 today headed northbound on The Embarcadero right-of-way at Washington Street (just north of the Ferry Building). The Chronicle reports that fourteen people were injured. The Chronicle story is here.
There are Muni rules about one rail vehicle following too close to another. At this writing, it is not clear what happened. What is clear, if you look at the reader comments attached to the Chronicle article, many people have already formed opinions.
The Milans don’t have brake problems, do they? Just wondering…
No. The Milans pass the same CPUC (state public utilities commission) braking tests as all the other streetcars. In my personal opinion, there is virtually never a valid excuse for a collision between two streetcars on level ground, especially since Muni has a half-block minimum following distance rule. But we should wait for the official investigation to learn how close the Milan tram was following the PCC.
People need to understand that operating a streetcar ( on any public transit vehicle for that matter) for eight hours or more tends to get boring for a while. A pilot told me that flying is hours of boredom interrupted by moments of sheer panic. The same applies here. Someone’s attention wandered for a moment and the 1807-1061 incident occured! People have accidents with cars all the time. We should not be surprised when it happens with other vehicles.
All due respect, Mr. Huckaby, but there are no actual rules in driving an automobile that you have to stay half a block back of the preceding car. And I’m sure you don’t mean to imply that it would be excusable for a professional vehicle operator, whether a pilot, a big rig driver, or a streetcar operator, to use wandering attention as a justification for an accident that hurt more than a dozen people. So I think people SHOULD be surprised when something like this happens…and really angry when it happens twice within a month (counting the LRV accident on King Street).
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