The N Judah line, which travels from Ocean Beach to 4th and King Streets, boasts the biggest share of ridership of San Francisco’s light rail lines. Unfortunately, it also boasts the largest number of accidents. According to the SF Examiner, the N Judah was involved in 84 accidents between 2008 and 2011, which is 26 more than the next most accident prone light rail line- the M-Ocean View.
Besides the high traffic on the N Judah line, the safety of the line is affected by its route through the busy Sunset District. The way the streets are designed gives the district a neighborhood feel, but it also makes it difficult for trains to pass through safely. Supervisor Matt Grossman expressed concern over the fact that many stops along the line lack boarding stations. Supervisor Carmen Chu admits that boarding procedures should be looked at on the line to improve safety.
Intersections of high concern include 9th Avenue and Judah street, where a combination of trains running lights, cars steering around trains, and jaywalkers have led to accidents like one in June, 2011, in which the N Judah collided with a truck making a U-turn. In May, 2011 an accident occurred between the N Judah and a vehicle at the intersection of 24th Avenue and Judah, when a driver collided with the N Judah where she had a stop sign and the N Judah did not.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) continues to look for ways to improve safety on the line. In June, 2011 SFMTA created the N Express bus line to relieve congestion during commute hours. Six months later, the SFMTA deemed the line a success and decided to make it permanent. Supervisor Carmen Chu worked with the Department of Public Works to install bright colored planter boxes at the intersection where turnaround for the N Judah is located.The boxes are meant to discourage drivers from making dangerous maneuvers to get around trains stopped there.
City officials’ efforts have started to pay off. The number of accidents involving the N Judah has dropped for the last three years. Yet, accidents and delays still happen with regularity. At the Brod Law Firm, our San Francisco accident attorney has extensive experience pursuing claims against transportation agencies or individuals that cause injury to passengers riding public transportation. If you sustained injury from an accident, please call for a free consultation to see how our dedicated and friendly professionals can help.