Yesterday, we shared the answers Metro Transit gave us to questions raised by a video that appears to show a Green Line train blowing through a red traffic signal immediately after almost hitting a vehicle that was passing through the intersection with a green light.
One of the responses, however, raised another glaring question.
We asked Metro Transit spokesperson Drew Kerr if the way the train and traffic signals interface leaves open the possibility that a train might have a "go" signal through an intersection at the same time traffic heading toward the train has a green light. If so, that'd obviously be a dangerous situation for all involved.
"The traffic and rail signal systems are integrated," he replied. "It is not possible for crossing vehicle traffic to have a green light at the same time a train is traveling through the intersection."
Yet the video appears to show the exact scenario Kerr says isn't possible -- crossing vehicle traffic having a green light at the same time a train is traveling through an intersection.
So what gives?
Asked for further explanation, Kerr replies, "In very rare instances, signals will not change and a train will hold at an intersection longer than normal. If this happens, train operators are instructed to contact a rail supervisor to receive permission to proceed through the intersection at their first safe opportunity."
"Operators are instructed to proceed at restricted speed and to use their horn and bells while crossing through the intersection," he continues. "It is impossible to know if this is what is depicted in the video, but it is a possible explanation."
Of course, even if that's what's going on in the video, one could still argue the train operator didn't do an adequate job proceeding through the intersection safely. But that explanation at least resolves the apparent contradiction between what Kerr initially said and what the video shows.