Rockland & Westchester: NY: State Senator Carlucci pushes safety investigation

19 May

New York State Senator David Carlucci (D – Rockland/Westchester), hosted a press conference on Friday, May 15th to call for the passage of S3858, legislation that will authorize the New York State Department of Transportation to collaborate with other organizations to find out which grade crossing lanes are not safe, and how much it would cost to fix them.

The House Appropriations Committee unanimously approved an amendment to increase funding set aside for railroad grade crossing improvements in the Highway Safety Improvement Program by $130 million. Although the numbers of accidents and fatalities at level grade rail crossings have fallen steadily on a national level, they have increased in New York State.

“We need to seriously examine why the number of grade crossing accidents has increased in New York, and what we can do to fix them as soon as possible,” said Senator Carlucci. “It is imperative that a comprehensive study is performed to evaluate where we should be investing our resources for infrastructure upgrades – lives depend on it.”

S3858 will give New York State the ability to hold hearings, and provide a proper and professional evaluation on where the faulty rail lines are and how much it would cost to fix them.

Specifically, the study will examine:

  • The safety of level grade crossings and the feasibility of implementing design changes to increase safety and to reduce the likelihood of obstruction at crossings;
  • Adequacy of traffic and pedestrian warning signals;
  • Federal funding available for safety improvement projects; and the feasibility of equipping passenger and commuter trains with technology to increase safety;
  • Which level grade rail crossings are considered to be the most dangerous throughout the state as defined criteria promulgated in the study.

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