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UPDATE: Man in stable condition after city bus strikes car

Thursday, April 2, 2009 | 9:54 p.m. CDT; updated 11:24 p.m. CDT, Thursday, April 2, 2009
Columbia Fire Department rescue teams work to free the driver of a silver Infiniti i30 passenger car involved in an accident with a City of Columbia Transit bus. The 28-year-old man was found conscious at the scene but sent to University Hospital with injuries. The accident happened Thursday evening at the intersection of Bearfield Road and S. Old 63. It took rescue crews about 45 minutes to extricate the driver from his car, which was pinned underneath the bus and against a telephone pole. Two heavy-duty tow trucks were needed to lift the bus off of the car before rescue crews could remove its occupant. None of the 14 passengers on the bus at the time was injured.

COLUMBIA — A 23-year-old man was taken to University Hospital with what were believed to be non-life threatening injuries Thursday evening after an accident involving a City of Columbia Transit bus, according to a news release from the Columbia Police Department.

At 5:45 p.m. Columbia firefighters responded to an accident in the roundabout located between Old 63 and Bearfield Road.

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According to the release, Rhonda L. Banks, the bus driver, lost control of the vehicle, drove over a concrete island and struck a silver Infiniti i30 passenger car.

The car was found pinned beneath the city bus, with the driver of the car, James A. Clarkson of Columbia injured and trapped inside his vehicle.

Two Heavy Rescue Squads from the Columbia Fire Department and two wreckers from Carl's Towing were called in to lift the bus off the car and allow access to the victim. It took rescue crews approximately 45 minutes to free Clarkson, according to an earlier release.

Fourteen passengers were on the bus at the time of the accident; none were injured, the news release said.

Nicole P. Chow, 21, of Columbia was a passenger in the Infiniti at the time of accident. She was not injured, according to the news release.

At 10 p.m., the bus was still blocking the roundabout.


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Comments

Charles Dudley Jr April 3, 2009 | 2:41 a.m.

>>> According to the release, Rhonda L. Banks, the bus driver, lost control of the vehicle, drove over a concrete island and struck a silver Infiniti i30 passenger car. <<<

Was it mechanical failure or driver error?

If mechanical error then this is just another reason that alot of these older buses need to be replaced.

(Report Comment)
cwh51 April 3, 2009 | 6:22 a.m.

The roundabout is used on the MU Gold route to turn around from Southbound Old 63 to Northbound 63. The concrete island is driven over every day by many drivers. It is a tight turnaround and too many drivers take it too fast. Too many drivers are already exceeding the 40 mph speed limit on aproach. Typically only the buses are using the roundabout as a u-turn as most traffic travels South from Old 63 to Bearfield which is almost a simple right turn. And traveling North onto Old 63 a driver has to travel more than half way around the circle. Again too many drivers are exceeding safe speeds.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith April 3, 2009 | 6:51 a.m.

Speed is a factor, as it can be in many types of traffic situations.

When designing and constructing a traffic circle the radius is critical. The radius must be sufficient to accommodate long vehicles having greater turning radii. The traffic circle should not be heavily sloped, but water drainage in the circle needs to be sufficient. This writer has encountered poorly drained traffic circles in Latin America that were both a soupy mess and a serious danger following a heavy rain. Heavy rains there are common. In places like the United States, northern Europe and Canada, priority needs to be given to deicing the pavement of traffic circles in the winter.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand April 3, 2009 | 6:52 a.m.

A 40-foot Gillig seats 40-42, depending on configuration. Is this route always barely one-third full, even during rush hour, at this point in the line? Is it mostly empty along most of the line, like so many others (e.g., the 102)?

Then why is the city -- yet again, this time with even more help from federal taxpayers -- going to spend $396,000 each for nine more 40-footers?

The buses in this city have been running around half or mostly empty for decades. It's a waste of money to keep buying buses the same size as major cities do. We need small vans that go more places more often. Otherwise, we'll never address the main reason why most people here don't take the bus: It rarely goes where they're going when they're going.

Why is this concept so hard for the council to grasp?

(Report Comment)
Panama Red April 3, 2009 | 7:30 a.m.

The Gold route is usually packed during morning and afternoon hours. I have no idea where you get the idea the bus runs empty. During peak hours, the busses are packed.

Not everyone can afford a car. Nor does everyone have the physical abilities to drive a car. Why not have a little compassion to those less capable of yourself ....

(Report Comment)
cwh51 April 3, 2009 | 8:10 a.m.

Ms AR these buses are packed each and every class day with students residing in the surrounding apartments.
Perhaps you don't have a busline in front of your home to take you wherever you desire but this route provides an essential service.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand April 3, 2009 | 9:27 a.m.

Panama, did you even read my post? I didn't say we should cut funding for buses. Instead, I said that the council should spend taxpayer money more effectively: on more, smaller buses, which enable more routes and more frequency.

Bitter much?

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand April 3, 2009 | 9:29 a.m.

cwh51, I've been riding the buses since the 1980s. They are rarely anywhere close to being full. I ride the 102 most often, and I have yet to see it anywhere near capacity.

(Report Comment)
Alex Javurek April 3, 2009 | 1:00 p.m.

Whether or not the bus was full or not makes no difference. How is it possible for a 40 foot bus to travel over a roundabout and take a vehicle and push it about 20 feet and crush it? Either the bus driver was driving way too fast and could not even apply brake pressure, or the mechanics of the bus failed evolving a new issue of why these gigantic buses do not have a safety protocol in line. I don't want to sound rude but taking a few driving courses is not enough knowledge for an individual to operate a 40 foot bus ad also be responsible for the 40 to 60 people that ride it. The driver of the car is actually my roommate and I couldn't be happier that he is OK. But we need to implement stronger regulations to individuals who are in charge of driving so many students.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand April 3, 2009 | 1:06 p.m.

Those Gilligs weigh about 40,000 pounds. Even if it was going only 15 mph, I'm not surprised that the car was moved 20 feet. That's a lot of weight and momentum.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand April 3, 2009 | 4:43 p.m.

Isn't this the bus that MU students living at The Reserve and Campus Lodge can take for free? No wonder it had more than a handful of riders.

(Report Comment)
cwh51 April 3, 2009 | 6:53 p.m.

Oh I should have guessed an expert on the bus system and the weight of the buses must know their stuff. I see hundreds and hundreds of posts just since October of 2008. So many opines from this person I don't imagine there is anything that isn't out of bounds of their knowledge by the number of topics have been covered. So little time so much opinion, "when I want yours, I'll give it to you."

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 3, 2009 | 8:16 p.m.

Never mind that Any Rant poster.

It is a fact that:

Our older buses need replacing.

They need three shifts of bus mechanics to keep up on all of the maintenance.

Round Abouts suck!!

Drivers do need more training.

The bus routes need to be "on the hour" seven days a week instead of only six.

Columbia drivers need to give the buses more respect.

Police need to enforce more tickets on rouge drivers in Columbia who cut buses off needlessly.

If you ride a bike and cannot get out of the way of bigger and heavier traffic you need to find alternate streets to ride on. You are slowing traffic down that should not be slowed because of your inability to keep up with the actual flow of traffic.

And the list can go on and on about how the drivers in this city have absolutely no respect for other drivers let alone the City Buses.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand April 3, 2009 | 10:29 p.m.

cwh51, are you another one of those adults who doesn't work?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz April 3, 2009 | 10:55 p.m.

Another fact: Bus fares should be raised to cover the true costs of the service instead of being subsidized by the city.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 4, 2009 | 3:44 a.m.

>>> John Schultz April 3, 2009 | 10:55 p.m.
Another fact: Bus fares should be raised to cover the true costs of the service instead of being subsidized by the city. <<<

In the immortal words of our Mayor when this issue came before City Council last year at the FY2009 Public Hearing that was mainly for the Bus Fare Increase; "Some things you just have to subsidize".

The Disabled Community of Columbia that uses the City Transit systems as their main form of transportation all over town are already pushing their tight budgets at this point in time with the rising increases in:

Health Care Costs

Food

Housing

Utilities

Transportation

Clothing

And you want to raise the Fares once again or you think they should?

Mr Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Boone County why don't you first pretend in your mind that you are disabled(OH WAIT THAT IS BELOW YOU ISN'T IT), drop your own cost of living where you only make on the average $700.00 a month with no Food Stamps and "all of the bills of the average Disabled Citizen" and learn to see how it is.

You suggest they raise the Fares again?

Well we can see how your Libertarian Party rolls on the streets of America and Columbia now can't we and it sure does not roll on the side of the people.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz April 4, 2009 | 11:28 a.m.

Well Chuck, perhaps if the city collected the true costs of the bus service (and I'll even let them cut the disabled a break), they just might have been able to prevent the cut to your Adaptive Recreation Program. What do you think of those apples now?

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand April 4, 2009 | 2:47 p.m.

Columbia's bus system already is subsidized by the federal gas tax, of which about 15% goes to public transportation.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 4, 2009 | 5:51 p.m.

John Schultz Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Boone County. You just showed your total ignorance of where that program's money comes from and how it gets into that program itself and even where the bus fares go to as well.

Maybe you should go talk to Sean Spense and allow him to give you an educational tutorial on that subject.

He is a very respectable guy in the community and is glad to talk to citizens about the program and it's future funding by the City and Private Donation.

Back on topic:
>>> Ayn Rand April 4, 2009 | 2:47 p.m.
Columbia's bus system already is subsidized by the federal gas tax, of which about 15% goes to public transportation.<<<

Then you better go talk to City Council and the Mayor on that one because it was the Mayor himself who publicly on the record said those words last year during the Public Hearing on that issue.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand April 4, 2009 | 9:58 p.m.

Chuck, even the mayor probably knows that the bus system is subsidized by the federal gas tax. He probably was referring to a local subsidy on top of the national one.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz April 4, 2009 | 11:29 p.m.

Hey Chuck, did Sean ever show you the below link?

http://www.gocolumbiamo.com/Finance/Serv...

Click on Transportation Sales Tax on the left and take a gander at the value for Bus Subsidy. I'm pretty darn sure that $1.6 million would get a lot of road and sidewalk (one of your pet peeves) done, eh? In fact, 28% of the transportation sales tax collected goes to subsidize the airport and the bus system.

This link:

http://www.gocolumbiamo.com/Finance/Serv...

says:

"Public Transportation Fund: Revenues have decreased overall due to a decrease in federal grants. This decrease
is partially offset by an increase in fares for ridership. Fares will increase from $0.50 to $1 for full fare and from
$0.25 to $0.50 for half fare riders. Paratransit fares will increase from $1.00 to $2.00. Transportation Sales Tax
subsidy has been increased for FY 2009 to match funds for an automated vehicle locator (GPS) and the
replacement of a bluebird bus and 2 paratransit vans."

And if the Public Transportation Fees of $1.4 million listed in this PDF is from the various fares collected, that means the bus system is over 50% subsidized by the sales tax.

Finally, if you are going to bandy Sean's name around, I'm sure he would appreciate it if you could get his last name right.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 5, 2009 | 5:04 a.m.

John Schultz Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Boone County.It is about time you actually posted figures up instead of continually dribbling off your Libertarian rhetoric off the end of your chin. It is about time.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley April 5, 2009 | 10:06 a.m.

Chuck bandies everyone's name around, but nobody bandies Chuck's name around. LOL.

Rick.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz April 5, 2009 | 10:59 a.m.

Chuck, as they say in your precious underground forums, you got pwned. Looks like you are the only person in this conversation speckling spittle upon the masses.

Rick, I do hear Chuck's name bandied about a bit. One of the parents at my son's preschool early last week asked why I even bothered discussing issues with him! To keep him from spreading inaccuracies would be one such reason.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley April 5, 2009 | 12:30 p.m.

John, I have an attorney friend, REALLY super guy that always says "Rick, don't get on the forums and argue with Chuck, you look just as crazy as he is"; every time he sees me... Once he even said this to me in front of a mutual acquaintance of ours. I know he is

I tell him that I just can not help it, "ignorance for the sake of being controversial" is just so annoying that I just feel like I gotta say something....

So, I guess you are right. Chuck does get his name "bandied about" some, but I have never heard it "bandied about" in a positive way. LOL.

Rick.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 5, 2009 | 1:41 p.m.

John Schultz Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Boone County the only person you so called pwn is yourself when it takes citizens to insult you online openly to actually get you to post informative information instead of posting that information right from the start.

Great way to show your fellow party members how they should act in public isn't it? Not the way to win hearts and minds of the citizens who's votes your party is crying after year after year either is it?

No wonder you party will always be the third rate non factors they are now and always have been.

I find it funny that we only see the Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Boone County online making the fool out of himself and no other party chair people from this county.

Is that maybe because they hope your antics online push more voters to their own party lines?

Keep it classy John you are sure winning over those voters to your party's side.
--------------------------------------------------
Back on topic once again since my obviously two borderline Bipolar/ADHD friends above keep dragging us all off track every chance they get:

Our ailing and aged buses are in need of replacement the real question is what style of buses are needed and should the schedule be re-evaluated.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley April 5, 2009 | 2:08 p.m.

Chuck says.. "Back on topic once again since my obviously two borderline Bipolar/ADHD friends above keep dragging us all off track every chance they get"
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chuck would like for everyone to be more like him.... LMAO!

Rick.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz April 5, 2009 | 3:04 p.m.

Chuck, just admit you were wrong and this thread will die. I first said "Another fact: Bus fares should be raised to cover the true costs of the service instead of being subsidized by the city." You then ranted and raved, as usual, about how I didn't know a doggone thing. When I proved you wrong, yet again, you act like it was a debate tactic. Never mind that my initial comment was correct and your protestations were false. You better reread the Missourian's comment policy again, because I think you "insulting me online openly" sure sounds like a comment containing personal attacks, which are prohibited.

I think my party members are just fine with the job I do. I received the highest honor the state party can bestow last year for my activities. Personally, I could care less what you (or most people, really) think about my beliefs, political or otherwise, but I will put you in verbal timeout when as needed. I get plenty of positive comments from non-Libertarians about my stances, so nyah nyah nyah.

One last comment - I hope you aren't expecting Rick and I to pay you for your quack diagnosis. Seems like you are the one arguing with no real facts in this thread, by far.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 5, 2009 | 5:32 p.m.

Back on topic once again since my obviously two borderline Bipolar/ADHD friends above keep dragging us all off track every chance they get:

Our ailing and aged buses are in need of replacement the real question is what style of buses are needed and should the schedule be re-evaluated.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley April 5, 2009 | 6:39 p.m.

John says... "One last comment - I hope you aren't expecting Rick and I to pay you for your quack diagnosis. Seems like you are the one arguing with no real facts in this thread, by far."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'd pay him to stop giving out his absurd diagnosis.. LOL.

But, at least he is keeping a positive mental attitude in hoping that other people have the same mental problems that he does... LOL.

Rick.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz April 5, 2009 | 7:07 p.m.

Well Rick, I told my wife about Chuck's diagnosis over dinner (she has Chuckled over past Chuckles statements). As a nurse, she found his ability to diagnosis someone's mental health over the Internet, um, interesting.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley April 5, 2009 | 10:28 p.m.

We'll have to make up a name for whenever Chuck says something so ignorant it is silly. Let's call it a "Chuckle"... As in "Chuck made another Chuckle when he diagnosed me on this forum"... LMAO!

Rick.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 6, 2009 | 4:49 a.m.

Back on topic once again:

Our ailing and aged buses are in need of replacement the real question is what style of buses are needed and should the schedule be re-evaluated.

(Report Comment)

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