Crossing gate status is confusing|Our Opinion

Published 12:10 pm Wednesday, April 22, 2009

By Staff
Trying to figure out who was responsible for erecting a crossing gate at the railroad intersection on Deer Street downtown is like watching a dog chase its tail.
The state Department of Transportation says it approved a crossing and passed the buck to the City of Brewton and CSX; the city says it was waiting for CSX; and CSX turned around and put it back on the state, saying the Department of Transportation has to approve a gate.
Considering the state had already approved a crossing after a study showed it would be beneficial, we’re not sure what CSX was waiting for.
After a truck-train accident at the intersection April 9 was inches and seconds away from tragedy, we’re pretty sure the anecdotal evidence backs up ALDOT’s study.
So what are we waiting for again?
If the state has approved the crossing, city and CSX officials need to revisit the issue quickly and get a crossing gate and signal installed at the location.
The accident earlier this month wasn’t the first we’ve seen there. By many witness accounts – and according to police who cited him – the truck driver was at fault, trying to beat the train by crossing the tracks. A crossing gate might not cure recklessness, but it could certainly do a lot to deter drivers who try to beat the train.
We need a railroad crossing before we have another accident. Next time, it could be tragic.