Drivers say HRT buses stopping at light rail tracks a hazard

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by Philip Townsend, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on March 6, 2014 at 6:59 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 6 at 7:00 PM

NORFOLK- It’s been a problem since “The Tide” light rail system began operating in August 2011. Drivers say they are getting stuck in intersections behind buses who stop at the light rail tracks throughout downtown Norfolk. This means they are stuck when lights change and traffic starts trying to get around them.

Some drivers say the bus blocks the light when it stops.  In some situations they don't even realize the light turned red.  "You don't see it," said driver Andrew Williams. "Because it's so big it blocks everything."

Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) Chief Safety Officer Ron Andrews admits it's a potential problem, but he says it doesn't change the rules.

"That is a safety concern," said Edwards. "What we'd like to do is have the automobile operators know that buses stop frequently."

We first shed light on this issue in October 2011. Today, we showed Edwards cell phone video of a bus driver not only stopping at the Brambleton Avenue tracks, but allowing the Tide to pass by while the light was green.

As light rail passed, the light turned red, leaving the bus and drivers behind it in the middle of the intersection blocking oncoming traffic.

"Unfortunately, from this video it seems the bus may have had the light and the light rail went at the same time," said Edwards.
 
He told us that's not supposed to happen, and that HRT will look into fixing any potential problems with light coordination.

 

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