Light rail had been debated in Houston for over a decade with the “discussions” getting heated at times. With the prospect of hosting the Super Bowl in 2004 light rail was approved and the first segments of the rail line opened just a few weeks before Super Bowl time in February of this year. Since it’s opened Houston’s light rail has been involved in 36 accidents. That’s 25 TIMES the national average.
The fact that the light rail in downtown Houston, one of the most congested areas in the country during rush hour, put the rail line down the middle of the streets didn’t send up a flag for any of the engineers designing the thing? The fact that drivers downtown have to turn left across the rail line at every major intersection didn’t make someone say “you know, we might have a few accidents if we’re not careful?”METRO Board of Directors Chairman David Wolff has to say “since the beginning of the month, we’ve only had five accidents and of those five, two of them were just people who just came across Main Street driving through a red light. I don’t know how you can keep people driving perpendicular to Main Street, coming right across and running straight into a rail train.”He goes on to say that it’s all right because the Houston METRO’s bus safety rate is “extremely favorable”.