The Smart Train Is Not As Smart As Our Roomba!!

We had our first encounter with The Smart Train intersection control lights in December 2012–See the Press Democrat Article–Railroad crossing arms close on Petaluma couple’s car at green light

We were assured that they were aware of the situation and it would be fixed.

But then in September 2016 we encountered another intersection light control issue at a different location in Petaluma and discussed it in two blog posts…

TODAY at 3:25 PM we were returning home from Point Reyes and found ourselves again at the intersection of D and Lakeville–THE SCENE OF THE FIRST SMART ATTACK ON US in December 2012 (see above)

TODAY AT 3:25 PM

  1. The Smart Train pulled up and stopped by the train depot by the Petaluma Arts Center.
  2. The traffic lights were working normally controlling the heavy traffic.
  3. My wife was driving.
  4. Fortunately there was plenty of sunlight so I could see the train and keep my eye on it–unlike in December 2012.
  5. We were first in line and the traffic light turned green and my wife started forward and I yelled at her to stop as I could see the train starting to move and then the gates started to come down. Fortunately we able to stop before getting hit–Unlike in December 2012
  6. I was able to capture a photo as the light changed to yellow and the gates were already down or coming down…

D St & Lakeville Petaluma CA

SMART does not seem to understand that drivers are focused on their control lights.  Traffic lights should be red long before the crossing gate arms are activated!

  • AT LEAST OUR HOUSE ROOMBA “Bob” FOLLOWS INSTRUCTIONS IF PROPERLY PROGRAMMED.
  • SMART seems unable to get it right and safe. If SMART cannot program the crossings to operate correctly and  safely, then they should not be running the trains.
  • Perhaps they would like to practice with our Roomba before running any more trains!

UPDATE April 29, 2017

I sent this  article to every agency and elected official I could think of plus the two papers. 

I clearly expect no answers or actions—Past promises have been repeatedly made and nothing changes.  Whatever they say now I will not believe.

SMART is beyond shame or even ridicule…

UPDATE May 4, 2017

Received the following E-Mail from SMART at 8:27 am…

“Thanks for the link. I have forwarded it to our ops team.

 Matt


Matt Stevens | Community Outreach & Education

Direct: 707.794.3074| Mobile: 707.328.3046

SMART | Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit

5401 Old Redwood Hwy., Suite 200, Petaluma, CA  94954″

 

Petaluma Railroad Crossings Are Still Out of Control–Update

My previous post Petaluma Railroad Crossings Are Still Out Of Control! generated many e-mail responses and some discussion on Petaluma Nextdoor.  Admittedly, I was somewhat taken aback by incidents reported by others in these responses—all of which makes me wonder how bad things are on the rest of the line in Sonoma & Marin Counties.  It can’t just be here in Petaluma.

There were no responses from the authorities responsible for correcting the situation.

I have been repeatedly urged to make suggestions about how to deal with this situation and I am not going to give any such advice as the traffic and driving situations vary so much.

What YOU can do, however, is report these situations whenever you encounter them… but do so in a safe manner. Do not text or send e-mails while driving!!

Perhaps corrective actions will finally be taken.

REPORTING INFORMATION

The agency responsible for the tracks is SMART (Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit)

SMART REPORTING INFORMATION

  • PHONE Railroad Crossings:  888-412-3330 (toll free) to report an emergency on the SMART roadway/rail grade crossing (stalled vehicle blocking crossing, suspected problems with crossing gate function, or any other emergency). For a fire or police emergency always call 9-1-1.
  • E-Mail info@sonomamarintrain.org

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