Letter: Numbers at crossings point to safety issues with All Aboard Florida

Posted on December 18, 2015

Colleen Lundy, Vero Beach

On Sept. 18, 2013, in Ottawa, Canada, a city bus collided with a passenger train killing six passengers along with the driver and injuring many more.

The final report from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada was just released. It concluded that this could happen to any driver who was distracted by passengers, negotiating a difficult turn and unable to initially see the flashing lights, warning gates and the train because of shrubbery and trees.

The importance of grade separation was stated. Road designers use something called "cross product" — calculated by multiplying the number of vehicles on the road by the number of trains in a day.

A cross product above 200,000 is used as a threshold to decide if an overpass or underpass should be used.

It is easy to do the math to determine the danger posed by additional trains through the Treasure Coast's 353 at grade crossings. Some crossings exceed a traffic volume of over 20,000. Multiply that by the number of trains and a conclusion should be no rail expansion along the Treasure Coast.

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