Grade crossing arms for safety

Ever ridden a C-Train shuttle bus or had your transit trip delayed by a motorist who wasn’t paying attention?  Were you as annoyed as I was?  What if you found that the collision was preventable by additional grade crossing arms?

I’m certain you’d agree it’s high time for the City to harden some of the less protected grade crossings on the c-train system.  Let’s start with the installation of grade crossing arms on 4th Avenue at 9th Street SW.

4th ave 9th st composite

This grade crossing is on the NW/Red/201 C-Train line and has seen four collisions this past year because of inattentive motorists running lights.  This grade crossing is unique in that the four westbound lanes of 4th Avenue split in two here.  The two southernmost lanes continue west across 9th Street, and is like every other intersection.  The two northernmost lanes are free flow onto the Louise Bridge, and as 9th street is southbound only, these two lanes only see a red light when a train is coming
Given humans are creatures of habit, it’s understandable that some will think the lights will be green for them; after all, it’s almost always green.  Except for that one time it isn’t and they T-boned by a very, very heavy C-Train.  And front and centre of that collision is an operator who can try to stop in time, but can’t and has to live with the aftermath.

Grade crossing arms will certainly cause a few slowdowns on 4th avenue, but since a few people haven’t learned that red means stop means the rest of the motorists will have to put up with it.  Those on the C-Trains will be thankful for the reduction in delays.


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