Friday, September 9, 2011

Safety And Liability

Safety isn't a political issue. I have family in the reddest part of the reddest state.. They live in a county the size of Connecticut without any traffic stop lights. They do have signs and laws that traffic has to yield to pedestrians, and this is on US Hwy 191. Still, when I was there this summer they were installing new pedestrian crossing lights.

See PinedaleOnline: Pedestrian ‘Hybrid’ beacons to be installed in Pinedale

I'm all for Traverse City requiring traffic to yield to pedestrians.

Wonder if this will mean that the Spirit Of Traverse City will have to yield to pedestrians too?

Today The Ticker reported on the little train's unsettled fate: Will TC Blow the Whistle on the Train (Again)?

My kids love riding the train. But if they were on it and it derailed again I'd be tempted to sue the City for negligence. Because it has happened before. See the Record-Eagle: No injuries after mini train derails

This summer a teenager was tragically electrocuted and drowned in the marina. The City is going to get sued for negligence. See IPR: Lawsuit Expected Next Week in TC Marina Drowning

Because back in June there was this posting at Take Caution which warned other paddlers that there were electrical problems in the Traverse City marina.

I see parallels between these events. Known dangerous circumstances on City property. Luckily no one has been injured on The Spirit yet but if the derailment cause was never determined then it could happen again. It isn't hard to envision the next derailment injuring a small child.

Though perhaps the nostalgia is worth it? I don't know the answer.

Just as I don't have the answers to the technical questions that need answered today and years from now too:

-Who fixes the train when it breaks down?
-Are spare parts available?
-Will technicians be available to maintain it?
-Will fuel be too expensive some day?
-Who will push the train up the final stretch when it gets bogged down?

And I have to think the City's insurance to cover the train will probably go way up after the marina lawsuit. The City may be forced to give it up due to liability worries. That's one way to settle a debate.