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Train crash rhetoric led by 'weasel words' Since the...

January 22, 2003

Train crash rhetoric led by 'weasel words'

Since the recent collision between the MetroLink train and a truck

at Buena Vista Street and San Fernando Road, I have read several

comments and letters in the Leader and elsewhere about how

"dangerous" that intersection is.

Excuse me? It's only dangerous if drivers and pedestrians fail to

observe the signals, bells, gates and the hooting of the trains

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themselves.

They also apparently fail to use common sense, or decide that

their priorities come before the needs of the rest of the world.

Everybody has been moaning about the "poor truck driver" and his

family. I think it's a shame that he had already passed on his genes;

that disqualifies him for the Darwin Award.

It is clear to me, and to everyone I've talked to, that the truck

driver either thought he could beat the train across the tracks, or

he was bent on committing "suicide by train" -- something that is

much more common than anyone will admit. Whichever, he had to make an

effort to get his truck in the position it was in when the train hit

it. I wouldn't call that an "accident."

Where is the concern for all the people on the train and on the

street who had to witness the awful event? What about the MetroLink

riders and crew who were injured?

I admit that a railroad overpass at that intersection will enhance

the flow of traffic, but calling it a safety measure is just another

example of today's fondness for weasel words.

ELAINE HAMPTON

Burbank

Intersection not as dangerous as implied

Several things should be considered concerning the recent accident

at the intersection of Buena Vista Street and San Fernando Road:

* If people would pay attention when they rebuilt the

intersection, they gave ample warning with the train gates and

sounds.

* They put in extra space so people would not be inclined to try

and go to the tracks or beat the trains, yet we who live in this city

and use Buena Vista Street every day watch people ignore the signs

that state "keep this area clear."

* Probably the most interesting thing I can bring up is the fact

that back in the late '70s and early '80s, all four crossing grades

were supposed to have been placed underground like the two on

Hollywood Way. But our fathers saw fit to forget Buena Vista Street

when they found Lockheed Corp. was going to leave our town. Had they

made the two on Buena Vista Street underground, not only would we

have not had this accident, we would have a lot less congestion at

the corner of the intersection.

* Thinking of all this hindsight, just think forward about two or

three years. We already had a mess of traffic on Victory Place from

San Fernando Road to Burbank Boulevard. One night two weeks before

Christmas, I was on Victory Place going toward Burbank Boulevard from

the shopping center. It took 38 minutes. With improvements like that,

I can hardly wait until the next city project.

JIM AVERY

Burbank

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