Light rail systems introduce certain risks that may not be effectively mitigated through vehicular traffic control conventions. Upon the opening of its Westside MAX light rail extension, Tri-county Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) experienced several significant incidents involving pedestrians at crossings. TriMet initiated a process aimed at identifying actions that would eliminate or mitigate causes of such incidents. The criteria and application steps that TriMet developed following review are described. TriMet commissioned an independent review of its entire light rail system. It also established an internal committee involving engineering, maintenance, operations, safety, marketing and management to evaluate numerous recommendations and to determine an appropriate action plan. Recommendations were implemented, in some cases, on a trial basis. Effects on pedestrian behavior were monitored. The process resulted in TriMet developing "Light Rail Crossing Safety" design criteria for use in the planning, design, and construction of TriMet light rail facilities. TriMet has applied the criteria to its subsequent light rail extension projects or improvements. Projects include the Airport MAX and Interstate MAX extensions, and improvements to the existing Westside and Banfield alignments. Improvements to the existing system are evaluated by TriMet's newly established "Rail Change Rail Control" committee. The criteria have raised the safety awareness level of those persons who plan, design, construct, and operate the system and resulted in a safer system.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

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  • Authors:
    • Irwin, D
  • Conference:
    • Experience, Economics, and Evolution--From Starter Lines to Growing Systems. 9th National Light Rail Transit Conference
  • Publication Date: 2003-11


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 266-288
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00972164
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: E-C058
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Apr 6 2004 12:00AM