As part of the greenway opening celebration, one of the Loop Trolleys was on show, parked at the Kingsbury stop on DeBaliviere. Naturally, I went along to see it, and I also found out that the delayed 3rd trolley is due later this month. Test running has started along the eastern end of the route, and operator training is well underway.
I asked if a decision on pricing had been made yet, and was told that an official press release is due in the next few days, but that tickets would be $2 for 2 hours, or $5 for an all day pass. Cash would not be taken on the trolleys, and each stop would have a ticket machine, plus there would be an app to enable online ticket purchases. There will be discounts for the over 65, and very young children can ride free, but there are no plans for any concession for local residents.
A regular routine of mine takes me along a road at about the same time each morning. Over the last week or so I’ve come to notice a cute little group of a mother and 3 children waiting on a corner for the school bus.
Of course, I don’t know for sure that they are a family – it could be an adult and some unrelated children, but it sure looks like Mom, her 2 little girls and their older brother. In any case, since they wait at a corner with a 4 way stop sign, I’ve seen them there since school started back, and they are part of my routine now.
This morning, either I was a bit earlier or they were a bit later, but they were not there as I approached the junction. The boy was just getting to the corner, his two young sisters were running to catch up, and Mom was not far behind. All this I took in as I came to a stop at the line. Nothing outstanding, just a normal part of life in the city.
What I also took in as I slowed down was that the car behind me didn’t seem to be reducing its speed. As I stopped, the car drove beside me, next to the curb, and went across the stop sign without stopping, inches from the boy.
No doubt there was a good reason that the driver was in a hurry. No doubt he would rationalize it by saying that there was no traffic around (apart from me there wasn’t) and he didn’t hurt anyone (true, no one was physically hurt), so what was the problem? Maybe he didn’t notice the girls running towards the corner, or the young boy already standing there, or maybe he believed that they would stay on the sidewalk, and no one would get hurt. Or maybe he was in such a rush that he didn’t care.
The world if full of what-if’s. What if the boy had chosen that moment to look to see if the school bus was coming, and had stepped onto the road? What if one of the girls had tripped and fallen into the path of the car? What if the driver had misjudged it, and mounted the curb?
But even apart from any physical harm that the driver could have caused (and ignoring the traffic violation) it disturbed me at a different level. Here is a happy family group, who will now have to be even more careful, even more afraid of the road. I hope I will continue to see them on that corner, but each time I do I’ll be watching for dangerous maneuvers by others. And if I don’t see them one morning, I’ll wonder, did someone in a hurry take one too many chances? Is the little family safe?
To the driver, I’d like to ask; was what you were driving to worth endangering a young family’s life? Would the 30 seconds or so it would have taken to stop been that critical to your day? How important is it?
Trolley #2 was due to arrive at Loop Trolley Headquarters (or “The Trolley Shed” as I prefer to call it) today, and I wanted to go along for some pictures. Just as I turned the corner from DeBaliviere into Delmar I saw the “Large Load” vehicle just going past the junction with Goodfellow, so I quickly parked and got out with my camera.
There were crews from Fox 2 there, and the local business people also came out to take photos of the big event. Joe Edwards was there and he was his normal ebullient self about the trolley. He tells me they are still doing testing without power at the moment, but he is hoping that powered testing will start in a couple of weeks.
It was interesting to see that they charged up the trolley and it got off the low-loader under its own power, before being pulled by a truck into the Trolley Shed. It was also fun to watch for the first time the trolley, buses, trucks and cars all sharing the same street space.
More photos can be found on my Facebook Page.
This morning saw the first outing for the first Delmar Loop Trolley. Today, Trolley #1 was being pulled (and sometimes pushed) along the tracks, and the object was just to check clearances. But it gave the rest of us our first chance to see the trolley moving!
It started from the Trolley Shed and went west to the terminus at the end of Delmar and then returned. I caught up with the trolley as it was crossing Skinker as it was returning east, and followed it along past the old Delmar station, rounded the corner into DeBaliviere, then crossed Forest Park Parkway and Lindell Boulevard, before reaching the end of the line by the Missouri History Museum.
More photos can be found on my Facebook page.