Excitement on S Elm: Train Hits Truck

I was watching the store (Davis Design Art Supplies) this morning while Grey was waiting at his house for his new washer and dryer to be delivered. I think it is a combo washer-dryer. But I'm not sure. Anyway, that is not part of this story. It is just to say why I was downtown near South Elm and McGee streets at 9 in the morning.

This morning before 10 o'clock, a freight train hit a truck near the intersection of South Elm and MLK Dr. which is about a block from the store. What a mess.

The truck looked totaled (no surprise). The occupants got out of the truck and ran out of the way of the crash before the train hit. At first I thought the truck was a city vehicle, but someone closer than I said that it was a RR Truck.

Of course, I did not have my camera with me. I usually take it when I go down to the store because I often take photos of stuff in the store to add to the e-commerce web site. (had to plug our on-line store - davisdesignart.com)

The fire engines and police cars arrived shortly after the crash. I guess the emergency people knew that no one was hurt because it was quite a while before the Emergency Medical Wagon arrived.

A little after 10 as I was standing on the corner with Mebane and Dusty, observing the happenings and the people observing the happenings, there was almost another crash. This one involved a truck pulling a trailer. The truck came down McGee Street and got about half way across Elm when someone yelled at the driver and he realized that he was headed straight into traffic on McGee Street. McGee Street is a one-way street for one block between Greene and Elm and the warning signs for traffic are not especially clear. The city will fix this soon. It is part of the project making Greene Street two ways for a few blocks and adding a traffic circle at McGee Street beside the old-folks high-rise.

Maybe now that Jefferson-Pilot is forsaking Greensboro, the city "leaders" will make the entire length of Greene Street a two-way artery. Up until now, they were scared of JP who will have to re-configure the entrance and exit of their private parking lot if Greene Street is made a normal two-way street.

Greene Street is a wide through-a-fare through the downtown area of Greensboro. It starts nowhere important and goes nowhere important, but it should be either one way or two way the whole way just to avoid confusion. I think two way is better. At least then, motorists can go around the block easier - that is, if the Greensboro DOT doesn't mess it up too bad.

Several years ago, they put medians in the center of McGee Street and down the center of Spring Garden Street, making it harder to turn onto or off of either street and almost impossible to cross either in a car. Oh well, we need more medians so the city can spend more money mowing grass and doing other upkeep on them, such as replacing signs that stick out into the right-of-way and are frequently hit by passing trucks. --- Added comment by diane ---- Not all medians are bad, but almost anything can be taken too far and i think Greensboro is going overboard on medians.

I wonder how much the city spends replacing knocked-over and bent signs on medians. One on Hill and Smith streets seems to get knocked down weekly. I noticed the last time I drove that way that there wasn't a sign at the intersection. Maybe someone wised up. Another place that the signs are hit by passing cars and trucks is the no-man's street between Lawndale and Westover Terrace/Battleground beside the train tracks near Cornwallis Dr. And, I don't even want to think about the mess at the intersection of Cornwallis and Battleground and Lawndale.

Sorry, I got off on my rant about traffic. A city the size of Greensboro should not have the traffic mess that we have. But, we are lucky in a way. At least we don't live in Charlotte.


Laurie said...

I was wondering what was going on downtown yesterday. I'm glad no one was hurt.

Amen on the medians. I was watching a movie the other night that showed streetcars going down the middle of the street. And Curituba in Brazil has a wonderful bus system that uses the middle of the streets. It is very popular. Maybe the good part of this is that the space that is currently used for medians will be there for these kind of uses in the future, if we ever wise up about public transit.

diane said...

I have often thought that possibly walkways and/or bike lanes could be places in the medians. It would take lots of education and planning, but it is a possibility in a city more progressive than Greensboro.