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Posted at 3:20 PM ET, 11/10/2010

Metrobuses can talk, but can they save lives?

By Aaron Morrissey

In 2007, Martha Schoenborn and Sally McGhee were killed after being run over by a Metrobus as they crossed Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Later that year, a Rockville man was killed after a Metrobus struck him while he was in a crosswalk. In October 2009, a woman was exiting a D8 Metrobus when another bus struck her as she attempted to cross the street.

I'm not rehashing these incidents to belabor the fact that Metro has an issue with bus and pedestrian safety. That much is painfully obvious. I do so to consider whether the installation of an audio recording which blares "pedestrian, this bus is turning!" from Metrobuses really addresses the key issue at hand: that Metrobus operators proceed through crosswalks far too quickly.

Metro has told numerous sources that the audio -- which also electronically states the message in Spanish -- is part of a public-address pilot program. The buses appear to be popping up in several D.C. neighborhoods, including Mount Pleasant, Logan Circle, Chinatown and Brookland. The recording is quite loud and irritating, as this video from Unsuck DC Metro proves.

[Continue reading Aaron Morrissey's post here at]

Aaron Morrissey blogs at DCist. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Aaron Morrissey  | November 10, 2010; 3:20 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., HotTopic, Local blog network, Metro, transportation  
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