Hit a train, hit the jackpot!

As Sound Transit prepares for Link Light Rail’s inaugural run, the anti-light rail folks are busy getting their crazy on

Coalition for Effective Transportation Alternatives (CETA) takes the position that all future collisions between trains and motor vehicles along the Central Link right of way would be chargeable to Sound Transit, because these collisions would be a direct, inevitable result of Sound Transit’s decision to implement a light rail right of way design that makes this type of collision possible.

What they’re essentially saying is that Sound Transit should be legally and financially liable for damages from all collisions, even when it is clearly the fault of the other vehicle’s driver. You know, hit a train and hit the jackpot… a policy that would have people plowing into trains all day long.

Yup there’s nothing quite as effective as a transportation alternative bankrupted by frivolous lawsuits. And as Martin at Seattle Transit Blog points out, it’s an argument that’s pretty damn disingenuous.

Right around the time I was posting this, a Sound Transit train collided with a car at MLK and South Myrtle ST. It was, of course, the driver’s fault.

The preliminary investigation indicates the man driving the Chrysler was traveling southbound on and made an unlawful left turn against a red traffic signal into the path of a southbound light rail train at South Myrtle Street, according to police. […] The driver was ticketed for a red light violation

According to CETA’s John Niles, that “unlawful left turn against a red traffic signal” should qualify the driver for a pretty big payday. Sweet.


  1. 1


    Sounds reasonable to me. They could have chosen a type of right of way where collisions could not be possible. But, they decided to go with the collisions-will-happen right of way. So they should pay.

    I wonder if Goldy thinks these people, his neighbors, who are running businesses along Marvin Luther King Way, are also crazy, for complaining to Kirotv.com that Link’s design is killing their business?


  2. 2

    Ben Schiendelman spews:


    Given that the reduction in car accidents is greater than the increase in accidents with the train, I think you’re kind of off base. Maybe you should educate yourself before whining?

  3. 3

    JamesS spews:

    The author of that opinion (John Niles) works for TWO right wing think tanks: Discovery Institute and Washington Policy Center…so, of course, the auto driver is always going to be the victim, even when he/she runs a red light.

    These anti-transit hacks also pretend to support Buses Stuck in Traffic when it’s politically expedious. Imagine the red ink Metro would be swimming in if these clowns applied the same standard to buses!

  4. 4

    Haywood Jablome spews:

    LMFAO……King 5 just reported a collision between light rail train and car just 5 mins ago in Rainier Valley…hHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHA

  5. 5

    JamesS spews:

    “Sounds reasonable to me.”

    Ahhh…when Troll endorses you with his unbeatable kiss of death, you know your cause is toast.

    The KIRO story he linked to cites a kook named Chris Van Dyk, who is a paid liar. And this scumbag is representing businesses who would rather have people get killed than them seeing one or two less customers per day.

    Change happens if you run a business in a city. If you don’t want change, live in a cave with Troll. Out in the sticks….

  6. 6

    JamesS spews:

    Good timing with that, Haywood.

    No doubt, the auto driver ran a red, or made an illegal turn.

    But, being good law-and-order conservatives, the right wingers will side WITH the guy who broke the law….

    Another example of their deathspin into irrelevancy….

  7. 7



    And maybe you should take notice of a commenter’s nickname before you start arguing with him, because honestly, the man who argues with a troll named Troll is more foolish than the troll himself.

    Ben, I believe this is what Oprah would call a teachable moment. Let my wisdom sink in. Learn from it.

    Lesson over.

  8. 8


    Troll @ 7

    So, what you are implying is that your comment at 1 was another one of your lazy, shitty, and utterly uninformative analyses.

  9. 9



    I love the irony, Ben Shniedersomething was lecturing me on the safeness of Link trains, just as a Link train hit a car on Empire Way! HAHAHAHAHA!

  10. 10

    Rail Transit Guy spews:

    Haywood and Troll, laughing it up over the collision this afternoon between a Link train and a motorist making an unlawful turn — I’ve often thought that anti-rail folks are actually HOPING for accidents, to add fuel to their otherwise flimsy arguments.

    Well here’s two of them confirming my sad hypothesis.

    You’re both pretty sick.

  11. 11



    If I am sick, I’m a victim of some sort of sickness, and should be protected by the ADA, and your ridicule of my disability is probably some sort of hate crime.

  12. 13


    I wonder if Goldy thinks cigarette companies should be held liable for the deaths of smokers? After all, aren’t cigarettes designed in such a way to kill people, also?

  13. 14

    k spews:

    Hey Bozos, the Sounder runs on the “heavy” rail dedicated right-of-way. It is completely irrelevant to the light rail, shared right-of-way issue.

    And troll has more gravy stains than gravitas.

  14. 16

    Marku spews:

    PI blog reporting driver ran a red light.

    Imagine if your cause célèbre was in idiot who can’t figure out red means “stop.”

    Welcome to Seattle, where every moron gets a drivers’ license. And every Republican is at the ready to defend said moron.

  15. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    With their construction costs they don’t need lawyers to bankrupt them! They’ve already bankrupting the taxpayers! The antis need a better lawyer than they’ve got though — one who can explain “comparative fault” to them.

  16. 18

    drool spews:

    King 5 reports illegal left turn in front of train on a red. It was a PT Cruiser so no loss.

  17. 19

    Garth spews:

    Roger, you are truly a pathetic, broken man. Like John Niles!

    Finding solace in the ideology you despise. There’s gotta be some special place in self-loathing fake progressive hell for dinosaurs like you.

    Find a new argument. From this century.

    Your fat, lazy Interstate Era is over.

    Get used to it.

  18. 20

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @1 OK, so if a car hits an ST train in a tunnel 300 feet under Capitol Hill, you think ST should pay? I won’t take that case. No money in it, just Rule 11 sanctions.

  19. 21

    Garth spews:

    lol, drool!!

    The PT Cruiser did nothing but keep Detroit on life support for a couple more years.

  20. 22

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @4 “LMFAO……King 5 just reported a collision between light rail train and car just 5 mins ago in Rainier Valley…hHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHA”

    Yeah, some drivers have their heads stuck so far up their ass they couldn’t see a train coming.

    “Police said the car made an illegal left turn against a red signal when the trail struck the vehicle.”

  21. 23

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @9 Maybe we can find a drunk wingnut to throw himself on the tracks, too, if you think that’ll help your argument.

  22. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @11 If I were the judge ruling on your case, I’d tell you voluntary stupidity is not actionable.

  23. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @13 You should ask Gregoire, the attorney who negotiated the largest legal settlement in the history of the world. She’ll explain the tobacco companies made their product addictive, which made them liable.

  24. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @19 “Roger, you are truly a pathetic, broken man.”

    See, that’s where you went wrong. I’m a rabbit. And what makes you think rabbits like cars or highways? Do you have any idea how many rabbits get squashed on highways by cars? It takes an incredible amount of fucking to replace all those squashed rabbits.

  25. 28

    proud leftist spews:

    With any luck at all, you are, at the moment, chomping on some fresh, organic carrots, and thinking about your next procreational endeavor. Might I ask you, interrupting your quest, how do the trolls who have posted here live with themselves? What, might I ask, is the reward of stupidity? Troll has been rewarded with the Golden Goat, yet he reappears here. How might we free ourselves of his stench? I suppose that rabbits and goats have no natural antipathy. I suspect, however, that rabbits don’t like trolls. What say ye?

  26. 29

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    Pelletizer, you are truly a pathetic, broken dumb bunny. Flatulence? You grace us with your flatulence every day. How are those Greg Nickels taxes treating you?

  27. 30

    proud leftist spews:

    Please don’t talk of flatulence. Your brain is filled with such every day, as you listen to Savage, Limbaugh, and Beck. Do you think that those folks offer you wisdom? Nah, they fill your head with the stinky gas that follows a gaseous dinner. Puddy, there ain’t no thinking on your side of the political aisle.

  28. 31

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    proud libtardo, we live well with ourselves. Can’t you remember the survey? Libtardos are less happy. The only thinking on your side of the aisle is how to take more money from peoples’ pockets and call it some great and wonderful program.

  29. 32

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @28 “Might I ask you, interrupting your quest, how do the trolls who have posted here live with themselves?”

    Easy. They have no conscience or empathy for their fellow creatures; in fact, they even hate themselves.

    “What, might I ask, is the reward of stupidity?”

    There are many rewards for stupidy. One is losing election after election. Another is the ceaseless bashing we righteously dish out to them in these comment threads. But most important, they will all go to Hell when they die. Frankly, they can’t go to hell fast enough to suit me.

    “Troll has been rewarded with the Golden Goat, yet he reappears here. How might we free ourselves of his stench?”

    That’s a tough one. I suggest hiring Ann Coulter as a consultant.

    “I suppose that rabbits and goats have no natural antipathy. I suspect, however, that rabbits don’t like trolls. What say ye?”

    As I’ve been saying all along, Republicans suck. What I’d really like to do, though, is get them to suck me. Trolls, for a good time call 1-900-LICK-ROG. Yes, this is a toll number, but all proceeds go to the Help Roger Rabbit Live Like A Republican Fund.

  30. 33

    Mr RcGuy spews:

    I don’t agree at all about how “mass transit” has been implemented here. But this CETA argument is just about as stupid as you get.

  31. 34

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    “@13 You should ask Gregoire, the attorney who negotiated the largest legal settlement in the history of the world.”

    What happened to that money, BTW? How much is left?

  32. 35

    Garth spews:

    Back on topic….just think if John Niles and his fellow right wing think tank kooks got their way: people would be intentionally ramming their cars into trains every other hour.

    You can tell CETA (which is basically Niles + 3 guys) puts a lot of thought into their positions.

  33. 36

    Piper Scott spews:

    Looks like this is what they mean by the phrase, “Sound Transit – taking cars off the road one at a time.”

    Irrespective of whose fault it is, will we now have these types of news stories becoming a staple of our infomratio diet?

    How soon before there’s a fatality?

    The Piper

  34. 37

    correctnotright spews:

    @31 Poor Puddy

    Being oblivious to reality is the way that idiot republicans are “more happy”. Of course republicans are more happy, they don’t have to worry about global warming (they just deny it), they don’t have to worry about the lousy Bush recession (they just deny it).

    The only thing that troubles their tiny brains is gay marriage – seems that somehow threatens their putrid little alternative reality.

  35. 38

    Blue John spews:

    By this logic, cars at street level are also dangerous cause cars hit cars. So are power poles at street level as well as curbs, because cars hit poles and curbs.
    “This is the third incident involving a test train in Rainier Valley, …, and in one case, a person walked into the side of a train.”
    Darwin at work.

    How come the conservatives are not ranting for personal responsibility and excoriating the driver for not being aware?