Donald Trump’s candidacy has opened the door for me, and all of us, to think new thoughts about old problems. For me, railroad crossings are near the top.
The situation we have with railroad crossings are vestiges of a time gone past long ago. There was a time when keeping a schedule, especially in passenger trains, was very important. That’s just not the case now. Trucks have tight schedules also, but they get caught in traffic accident delays and interchange tie-ups or a breakdown of the car ahead of them. But railroads still have the right to block traffic at will. Sometimes it even involves an emergency vehicle, but even just the stoppage of daily commuters is something we should no longer have to put up with.
What to do? Well, except on side streets with low traffic and other ways around the tracks, railroads should be required by law to build overpasses or underpasses when the crossings are such that they block traffic on major roads. That’s what the rule is on interstate highways, but it should be the same on all main roads.
The traffic of cars and over-the-road trucks is now more important that railroad schedules. If they don’t want to wait, they should have to build something to allow traffic to continue over or under them.
Joseph M. Reichert, Belleville