Sensors without answers

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘volcanojw’

A week ago I put up a piece talking about the nature of the sensors that are emerging as a possible cause of Metro’s fatal Jun 22 accident.  One of the questions I asked was whether it was reasonable to expect WMATA to look for this problem – whether it was a known issue with the technology.

Earlier this week it was revealed that San Francisco’s BART system uses the same sensor technology and that they have been running a supplementary system since their opening in 1972, precisely to deal with this “flickering” issue.

There’s some additional discussion of this matter in WaPo’s reporting on a meeting Catoe had yesterday with a committee of board members but it’s pretty unsatisfying. I’ve linked to page 2 of the story since that’s where the real fun is.

Metro does not have the same kind of tool, but it does have “diagnostic tools,” said Metro rail chief Dave Kubicek.

Asked whether Metro could have prevented the crash if it had something similar to BART’s system, Metro officials said they did not know.

“I want to commend you,” Graham told Kubicek. “You should be a lawyer.”

Well I used to say something in my profile about not quite being a “tinker, tailor, soldier, or spy” but Tom stole that for our about us page, so I guess I’ll have to find another way to express that I am a man of many interests.

Hmm, guess I just did.

My tastes run the gamut from sophomoric to Shakespeare and in my “professional” life I’ve sold things, served beer, written software, and carried heavy objects… sometimes at the same place. It’s that range of loves and activities that makes it so easy for me to love DC – we’ve got it all.


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