Trestle crashes: No more excuses – Hasso Hering


A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Trestle crashes: No more excuses

Written January 19th, 2017 by Hasso Hering

There were never any good excuses for trucks hitting the trestle on Albany’s First Avenue, and as the video shows (after some wobbles inherent in one-handed videography while steering a bike) that’s even more true now that bright new flashing lights have been installed as an additional warning.

I reported before on the Albany city administration’s efforts to further reduce the chances that unwary drivers would ram their trucks into the railroad bridge, where the 11-foot-4 vertical clearance is less than standard.

There had been flashing lights by the side of the street a block ahead of the trestle, in addition to truck-detour signs. But late last year, as a first step, after discussions at the city council, the city made those roadside flashing lights brighter. It also got the Portland & Western Railroad’s consent to replace and improve the four warning lights on the bridge itself. The bridge lights had been on the dim side, barely noticeable, and the two in the middle had been burned out for some time.

Going down First on my bike Thursday, for the first time in weeks, I could not help but notice the new flashing trestle lights even from two or three blocks away. Even if they miss the other warnings, there’s now a much better chance that drivers of tall rigs will see those lights and stop or turn before it is too late. (hh)

You can see the new lights from a good distance.


8 responses to “Trestle crashes: No more excuses”

  1. Leroy says:

    There are plenty of deterrents those flashing lights should help.
    Those who hit the trestle are looking at google not the signs.

  2. Kyle says:

    As proven by ‘The Canopener Bridge”, it’s unlikely that any amount of warning signs will prevent bridge incidents. Most of their incidents don’t involve the bridge itself, but a steel I-beam placed at bridge-height before the bridge.

  3. hj.anony1 says:

    Crashes. no. more.

    I trust it felt great to be back on your bike!

  4. John Hartman says:

    Using video reinforces the Hering message. That said, might I suggest you invest in a 3-axis handheld gimbal to steady your camera while you are piloting the pedal powered vehicle down Albany’s bicycle [moderately – friendly] streets. While not inexpensive, the quality of your image would improve dramatically, adding a compelling visual dynamic while supporting the Hering Vision. You could add a drone for those unique perspectives.

  5. Gothic Albany says:

    At least the lights are mounted near the top of the bridge and not the bottom. That way when the truckers ignore everything and hit the bridge anyway, at least we will not have to replace the flashing lights every time.

  6. Susan Rupp says:

    Paint two huge eyeballs and a toothed open mouth on it that will wake them up the rust already looks like truck blood anyway

  7. James Engel says:

    They forgot the duct tape to hold them up if they really wanted them to not move!! JE


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