New safety device for the Light Rail in the Rainier Valley

Residents of Rainer Valley will hear louder train bells now that Sound Transit has listened to concerns about safety issues around collisions with cars and pedestrians.

The bells of Link Light Rail 1 Line trains can be heard as they pass through level crossings and enter stations.

Increase decibel level

“The bell went from 80 decibels to 90,” Sound Transit spokesman John Gallagher told KIRO Newsradio. “Security is Sound Transit’s top priority, and we are constantly reviewing ways to ensure our system is as secure as possible.”

Gallagher went on to say that the volume boost is a six-month pilot program. Sound Transit wants to hear from Rainer Valley commuters.

Responses needed for the survey

Gallagher encouraged people to tell Sound Transit about the bells and whether or not they hear them. You can view the survey here.

Community feedback will determine whether the sound decibels will decrease or stay the same.

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Gallagher said Rainer Valley was chosen for a specific reason. “This is the area where the trains really run on level ground and where pedestrians tend to interact more regularly with the trains. You cross the train tracks through the valley and the security concerns are at their highest.

The train against the cars are the most likely accidents

He said most collisions involve cars, especially when they are making turns in the lanes. That’s when they run into trains. “Fortunately, they [the crashes] do not result in injury, but they disrupt service. Unfortunately, there have been incidents where pedestrians have been hit by trains. We hope that increasing the number of bells will be another safety measure that will help alert people that a train is coming. »

Sound Transit reports that there has been at least one collision with a driver or pedestrian every month since its inception in 2009.

Jose P. Rogers