HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - In Huntsville there are two railroad crossings a little more than a mile apart, and a Huntsville man says they have something in common. "In my mind eventually a terrible tragedy is going to happen at one or both locations. It's just a matter of time, and I'm surprised that something hasn't already happened," says Steve Campbell. He's talking about the crossings on Quietdale Drive, and on Pratt Avenue. neither of them have crossing gates.
It should be pointed out that other crossings within the same mile and a half do have crossing gates. There's the crossing on Oakwood Avenue, and just about 50 yards from the gateless Pratt crossing, there's the crossing on Meridian Street that does have automatic gates. "I think it's very dangerous. Now, I've actually heard of people stopping on the tracks when there was a train coming, because they did not see the lights blinking." says Campbell.
All the crossings have blinking lights to warn drivers of approaching trains, but there are still two crossings that don't have the reinforcement of gates that come down to make sure drivers don't try to cross in front of an oncoming train. "What should happen, they should put up crossing gates immediately. As fast as we can get that done." says Campbell.
WHNT News 19 is taking action and discussing the problem with the railroad, and also city and state traffic engineers. It appears to Steve Campbell, and to us for that matter, that every crossing needs to be as safe as possible. That means having crossing gates.