Safety Enhancements at Short-Storage-Space Railroad Crossings

Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) regulates safety devices at public railroad crossings. MDOT also invests state and federal dollars on a prioritized basis to enhance safety at public railroad crossings. Other than pre-signals, there is not currently prescribed enhancements to address crossings that don't have sufficient space for traffic to queue at nearby roadway intersections without backing over the crossing. Although the points of conflict are less frequent, because of the severity of car-train crashes, MDOT would like to establish additional potential solutions for crossings that are near roadway intersections that don't warrant traffic signals (and, therefore, a pre-signal is not an option). Any potential safety enhancements for these crossings, at a minimum, should not negatively impact the road intersection. Typically, storage space is limited when a primary road runs parallel to the track with a secondary road intersecting the track and primary road within 200' of each other. MDOT estimates there are at least 300 crossings that have these conditions throughout the state, including but not limited to, crossings along the CSX corridor that parallels Chicago Drive from Hudsonville to Zeeland.