The University Administration have argued the Purple Line should not go on Campus Drive for a variety of reasons. They worry it won’t be pedestrian friendly, and have implied it would be loud or cause vibrations. Fortunately, in today’s age we can easily find video of similar systems elsewhere in the country. Let’s see if their concerns hold up to real-world conditions.
Light Rail and Pedestrians
This video of a train pulling into a station in San Jose demonstrates why Light Rail and pedestrians are compatible. Watch the man walking along the platform closely: although he is very close to the train the fixed rails means he has nothing to worry about because he knows exactly where the train will go.
Light Rail and Automobiles
This video from Portland Oregon shows how smoothly a Light Rail train can share a road with private automobiles. However, we will note we support the MTA’s proposal to close Campus Drive between the “M” and Stamp Union to vehicles except for service and emergency vehicles, and the train will operate on a dedicated right-of-way for the majority of the route.
Light Rail: Whisper-Quiet
This long video shot also in Portland demonstrates how a modern system can work in an urban context. Note that you can hear the voices of people’s conversations throughout the video because the train is quieter than a normal conversation.
On the opening day in Portland, authorities invited a band to preform inside a moving Light Rail vehicle. Imagine them trying to play in one of our diesel buses!