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Check out this video SMART posted of a near miss in San Rafael!

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Comment by James Bradley, Jr. on Thursday
Comment by James Bradley, Jr. on Thursday

This is definitely NOT San Rafael.  Look at the track arrangement.  This is a gauntlet track, which is not used in San Rafael.  San Rafael station has an actual siding, rather than a gauntlet.  I'm inclined to agree that this is D Street in Petaluma.

Comment by Chad Glover on Thursday

I think you are correct,  Petaluma D St crossing looking south.  I too assumed San Rafael. 

Comment by Dave S. on Thursday

OK, now I understand why I thought this crossing was in San Rafael:  Look at the caption above!

Does anyone disagree that this is really East D Street in Petaluma, viewing south from the SMART platform?

Comment by Dave S. on Thursday

Good analysis Chad!  First, lets agree on a few things.  This is East D Street in Petaluma, view is south.  The gate in question is the exit gate for the eastbound lane.  This moron is actually traveling west in the eastbound lane.  (I was stuck on the idea that this was a one-way street and both gates were entry gates.)

And, yes, there are "traffic loops" at all these crossings.  They come in various sizes.  Here you can see large rectangular areas in the roadway on the far side of the track.  (This is E D Street, west side of the track.  There are smaller loops on the east side of the track as well.)  This is the same technology used to activate regular traffic signals (essentially metal detectors).  Indeed, occupancy by a vehicle may cause the associated gate to go back up.

And yes, it's quite possible that occupancy of any traffic loop while the gates are down will change the cab a wayside signals to a stop aspect, plus raise an alarm at the SMART Operations Center.

Great!  The world makes sense again!  Except for these moronic drivers!

Comment by Chad Glover on Thursday

I got it,  since it's the west bound lane it will lift if a car is stuck on the tracks and hits it. After a period of time it will come back down.  Notice the east bound arm doesn't go up when hit. 

Comment by Chad Glover on Thursday

So I watched the video again also.  The gate you are looking at is for the west bound lane.  Is there a sensor that if the gate strikes something it goes back up? ( like your garage door ). Then it may send an alert to the DMU approaching that crossing?  The recording is edited,  the gate is up ( you can see the bottom part of the arms pointed straight at the ground ) then all of a sudden the gates down and Smarts at the crossing. 

Comment by Dave S. on June 13, 2018 at 2:50pm

I was having a hard time accepting that an average sized car could so easily slip under that gate, but after repeated viewings I think that vehicle may have been lowered.

At the 4 second mark the car bumps the gate and it bounces back down, then by the 5 second mark it seems that the motor is driving the gate all the way back up.  At about 15 seconds you can see SMART headlights reflecting off of the railheads.  Then at 23 seconds they smash cut the action forward.  The gate is now down and part of the lead SMART unit can be seen at the very top center of the video.  We don't see SMART arrive at the station, but through the remainder of the video the car is still creeping away from the crossing.

I'm fascinated by the behavior of that gate.  What would make it go up?  Then, later, not seen in the video, is goes back down again.  Also, why the edit?  As if to conceal the return of the gate to the horizontal position (unlikely).  There are two entry gates here, only one, the one that was apparently impacted by the vehicle, performed this crazy maneuver.   Any thoughts?

As for the motorist, how blind are you?  I would be surprised if your roof doesn't have some minor scratches from your reckless action.

Nico:  Thanks for posting this!

Comment by Nico on June 12, 2018 at 10:09am

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