Wednesday, February 15, 2012

And Again: Another NJ Transit Train Collision Snarls Traffic

Once again, a NJ Transit train struck a vehicle at one of the most dangerous rail crossings in Northern New Jersey. A vehicle was struck and damaged in the vicinity of the Midland Avenue crossing in Elmwood Park/Plauderville. Thankfully, there are no reports of serious injuries (the driver was taken to the hospital though), but there are reported delays at this point.
Feb 15, 2012 09:22:13 AM
Main Line/ Bergen County Line trains are subject to 10-15 minute delays due to an earlier motor vehicle accident.
Feb 15, 2012 09:22:05 AM
Rail Update: Main-Bergen County Line train #1158 the 8:36am departure from Plauderville is cancelled due to motor vehicle struck by train.
I've repeatedly noted accidents at this particular crossing (here, here, and here).

The fact is that all too many people see this:

... and ignore it.

People die as a result of ignoring those signals. Today's accident victim was lucky. Luck is going to run out at this crossing.

This particular crossing is notorious for accidents, primarily because of its location and how it cuts across NJ Transit's right of way:

View Larger Map

This leads to multiple accidents, both on NJ Transit right of way, and for cars attempting to avoid crossing there by traveling on Erie Street instead.

The only reasonable way to improve safety at this particular crossing is to eliminate it altogether. NJ Transit should work with the town to direct traffic along Midland Avenue to Erie Avenue and then cross the tracks at a perpendicular crossing at Market Street. That's a whole lot safer than the current situation where traffic can back up and cars are stuck in no-man's land behind a closed gate.

How many more accidents is it going to take before real corrective action is taken? Will it require multiple fatalities or a derailment? It shouldn't have to resort to that to fix this dangerous situation.

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