The Illinois Commerce Commission will hold a third public hearing this morning in Springfield on a proposal to close the Morrison Road railroad crossing in Granite City. But the commission already has all the evidence it needs to know that this crossing must remain open.
More than 1,000 residents oppose the closing, with good reason. Closing the crossing or approving a proposal that would result in blocked crossings for hours on end would mean significantly longer response times for the police, firefighters and paramedics. For someone suffering a heart attack, a house fire or other major trauma, having that access shut off could be the difference between life and death.
The Union Pacific needs to offer a creative solution that meets both its needs and the residents' for this project to gain approval. Maybe an overpass is the answer. Too many people live in the vicinity for the ICC to allow the Morrison Road crossing to be regularly blocked or permanently closed.