Author Topic: Do you think railroad crossings should be replaced with grade separations?  (Read 1301 times)

Megabox

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I think if a railroad crossing blocks the only entrance into a neighborhood it should be replaced with a grade separation. There are times when emergency vehicles take longer to get to people because they have to wait for a train.

Steve

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It's not always practical, especially given what's around it or how frequent trains cross. If it's a spur that is used once a week then that's going to be tough.

I'm not sure if Ambulances ever get stuck trying to get to Baptist Downtown, but they can go around if they need to from Downtown (go to I-95 and get off at San Marco Blvd). The Railroad was there before the hospital was. Admittedly, if I'm in the back of the ambulance I might not think about it that way.

Jim

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That sounds incredibly expensive and difficult to implement.   How you address a grade separation in the image below?


thelakelander

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I believe the responsible party for constructing an at-grade crossing over century old railroads should pony up the cash for grade separation construction. 

There was a similar case back in the 1990s where I grew up.  There was a neighborhood with only one way in/out, which required the residents to cross CSX tracks in the middle of a large distillery.  Eventually, an industrial accident happened, the distillery caught fire with a few major explosions and the residents were trapped.  As a result, the city ended up building a second alternative route from the other side of the neighborhood for residents to have options.

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/biz.clarinet.sample/o5-bH-vnMSA

http://www.upi.com/Archives/1993/09/16/Massive-fire-at-Florida-distillery-extinguished/2638748152000/
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thelakelander

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That sounds incredibly expensive and difficult to implement.   How you address a grade separation in the image below?



You would have to elevate (or take it below grade) the intersection or the tracks.  If the tracks, you're talking about elevating it for a much longer distance.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Megabox

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Well, yeah, it would be impractical to replace all railroad crossings. There's so many of them. I think if the railroad crossing is used frequently by cars or trains, or blocks the only entrance into a neighborhood, it should be replaced with a grade separation.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 03:09:53 PM by Megabox »

acme54321

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Well, yeah, it would be impractical to replace all railroad crossings. There's so many of them. I think if the railroad crossing is used frequently by cars or trains, or blocks the only entrance into a neighborhood, it should be replaced with a grade separation.

So those neighborhood people are going to foot the bill right?  ::)   If this is really such a concern for you don't move in to a neighborhood that has only one entrance blocked by a railroad track.  Come to think of it, I'd like to see an example of that somewhere around here.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 03:48:24 PM by acme54321 »

Megabox

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Well, yeah, it would be impractical to replace all railroad crossings. There's so many of them. I think if the railroad crossing is used frequently by cars or trains, or blocks the only entrance into a neighborhood, it should be replaced with a grade separation.

So those neighborhood people are going to foot the bill right?  ::)   If this is really such a concern for you don't move in to a neighborhood that has only one entrance blocked by a railroad track.  Come to think of it, I'd like to see an example of that somewhere around here.

Here is an example:

https://www.google.com/maps/@30.2190132,-81.7036865,3a,30y,82.75h,93.67t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1svzosDqKDG3A66vN8e0hrZg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

There are two ways out of this residential area, but they both are blocked by railroad crossings.

Adam White

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Well, yeah, it would be impractical to replace all railroad crossings. There's so many of them. I think if the railroad crossing is used frequently by cars or trains, or blocks the only entrance into a neighborhood, it should be replaced with a grade separation.

So those neighborhood people are going to foot the bill right?  ::)   If this is really such a concern for you don't move in to a neighborhood that has only one entrance blocked by a railroad track.  Come to think of it, I'd like to see an example of that somewhere around here.



Here is an example:

https://www.google.com/maps/@30.2190132,-81.7036865,3a,30y,82.75h,93.67t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1svzosDqKDG3A66vN8e0hrZg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

There are two ways out of this residential area, but they both are blocked by railroad crossings.

I thought of the same place when I read that post!
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thelakelander

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That railroad was built around 1884. I doubt the railroad would pay for it.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

acme54321

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Well, yeah, it would be impractical to replace all railroad crossings. There's so many of them. I think if the railroad crossing is used frequently by cars or trains, or blocks the only entrance into a neighborhood, it should be replaced with a grade separation.

So those neighborhood people are going to foot the bill right?  ::)   If this is really such a concern for you don't move in to a neighborhood that has only one entrance blocked by a railroad track.  Come to think of it, I'd like to see an example of that somewhere around here.

Here is an example:

https://www.google.com/maps/@30.2190132,-81.7036865,3a,30y,82.75h,93.67t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1svzosDqKDG3A66vN8e0hrZg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

There are two ways out of this residential area, but they both are blocked by railroad crossings.

Someone should really build a bridge over those tracks! 

Yumbomb

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If this neighborhood of residents served by the Avent Drive and Ortega Hills crossings, were connected to the crossing at NASJAX Yorktown gate with a new north-south road through Yukon business park, could this help? 

Is there a way to connect this neighborhood to Collins Rd via Ortega Bluff Pkwy?

Are there any plans for the future of the i295/Roosevelt interchange and Collins/Roosevelt realignment which might be examined to possibly include some retrofit to fix this development  blunder.
Looking back to Mr.George Simon,  houses have been removed to build roads, on a much tinier scale, could this be considered here in a way so as to not further ravage sensitive wetlands?

thelakelander

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It would be more logical to demo two residential lots and create a one-block connection between Oretga Hills Dr and Ortega Buff Parkway.  The question would be who pays for it?  I'm not sure the residents of Ortega Hills would want that kind of cost put on their backs.  However, it's not the railroad's responsibility and COJ could not force them to foot the bill.  The residents of Ortega Bluff will probably fight it as well. Suburbanites have this strange fear of connected street grids that encourage "outsiders" to drive through their one way in/one way out subdivisions.

However, at this point why bother?  What's the future of the CSX A line?  Wasn't most of its traffic shifted to the CSX S line, with the establishment of Sunrail?  I guess coal is still delivered to the power plant in Palatka but how long do we expect it to stay around?  If JEA can abruptly decide to shut down a much larger facility to save cash, who's to say Palatka's coal plant will be around a decade or two from now?  Other than that, you're looking at a couple of Amtrak trains and a few deliveries to some isolated industrial sites like the paper mill.  So I'm not sure the amount of rail traffic on that particular line (looking into the future) warrants a grade separated crossing. 
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Megabox

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Here's what a couple of people said on another forum in a topic titled "should all railroad crossings be replaced with overpasses?"

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no, it's not realistic to build a 5 million dollar bridge for 10 cars a day, and that's the reality of the majority of your railroad crossings. in a city you'd have to buy up all the land around a crossing eliminating dozens of buildings and costing 10's of millions. and for what gain? 2 minutes of response time when in a major metropolitan there's probably another fire house on the other side of the tracks, or life flight?

if there was some mandate to replace railroad crossings with overpasses, what you would see is most crossings shut down and you'd have to drive forever to find one of these overpasses.

can't spend trillions to avoid extremely minor dangers.

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It's not worth the time, money and effort since most crossings don't get used often. Whether by vehicles or trains. And those few crossings in tight residential areas really don't need it. Maybe quiet zones are good for it so no trains at night blow their horn and make it hard to sleep but it wouldn't affect the traffic as easily. Not to mentions it takes more time and money to build an overpass compared to a crossing. And some of these cities don't have these kind of problems where they'd need overpasses. Usually trains don't take too long to pass unless it's long, just departing, is a passenger train stopping at a station (which if the train isn't moving or another isn't approaching/is only one track they can take the advantage) and/or it goes into emergency from either a problem on the train or a collision that was vehicle/trespasser related.

Quite a percentage of crossings don't even experience that long of an activated time. Some operate passenger and maintenance only. So they aren't as used like some are. There is two crossings in Chicago that are just before Chicago Union Terminal that see hundreds of trains each day. The only time they that crossing remains activated for a long period is if one Metra train is temporarily waiting on a signal. And not a lot of crossings experience heavy traffic. Not to mention it's nearly impossible to have an underpass or an overpass for those two roads.

I-10east

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I wish there was some way to make a railroad bridge over Prudential Dr (not holding my breath). IMO that Xing in Southbank DT with hospitals on the other side is probably the biggest folly in the city. Oh well...