Defiant wrote:NJT really needs to work on slowly eliminating these deadly grade crossings. They are just inherently unsafe. I believe there is even federal funding for this. I will try writing Governor Murphy about this...
If you think a letter to Murphy will make a difference, please, do write one, but do not keep your hopes high.
Many of the crossings on the Bergen Line are hard and expensive to eliminate:
1. Park Ave in Rutherford is next to a station that recently got a face lift. Only option is for the tracks to go up (and the road to be depressed a little), but that will get shot down by the "elevated structures are blight" crowd.
2. Central Ave next to the US Ink plant should be closed, but it recently got resurfaced. Probably NJT did not want to fight that battle given the small payoff.
3. Continuing west, given the availability of real estate in the area of Patterson Ave a road overpass over the tracks should be built. NJT is too broke to pay for one and NJDOT probably does not want to pay as this will be $25+ million project.
4. In Garfield Hobart Pl and Somerset St need to be closed. Hobart got redone over the last few years. As these are close to a station and a curve NJT probably does not want to fight the public given the small payoff.
5. Monroe St and Van Winkle Ave are in very tight spots. I see no chance of anything ever getting done there. Maybe close one of them, but grade separation does not seem possible without large residential takings which are the big "No-no".
6. Outwater Ln and Midland Ave are next to Plauderville Station which is relatively new. I see nothing as feasible there.
7. Next are Market St and South Midland Ave. The latter recently got fancy traffic light and new surface at a cost of half a million or so. It was one of the top ten most dangerous crossings in the country. After lots of pondering NJDOT decided that an overpass was not justified and forced the railroad to drop the speed (you can notice that on the expresses). In my opinion this was a missed opportunity as they could have eliminated the crossing of Midland with NYSW too, but Cristie and his administration were adamant on not spending any money to improve infrastructure, especially rail, so there is no chance in the next 50 years that it will get another look.
8. Next one is Morlot Ave in Fair Lawn. It is in residential Neighbourhood. There is no way to do anything without takings or at least temporary construction easements.
9. There is a pedestrian crossing at Berdan Ave.Short of closure there is little that can be done as any overpass will need to be ADA accessible and that means elevators or long ramps for which the space is limited.
10. Fair Lawn Ave is next to Radburn station. Only hope could be to elevate the tracks and the station, but that is not an option due to the close underpass of 208.
11. Harristown Rd in Glen Rock is next. Good luck getting the locals to agree to elevate the road or the tracks. It will not happen. The town is too rich and by extension lawsuit happy.
12. Rock Rd in Glen Rock. Elevating the tracks and the station is difficult given how close Ridgewood interlocking is. Elevating the road will change the face of downtown and will not happen.
13. You can go on
Note that the Main line is practically grade separated but tends to be slower due to the extra length and the curves at Patterson. I hate to say it, but the only way you will get any grade separation is if a train runs over a full bus stuck on a crossing with multiple casualties. Only then the powers to be might find the strength to close a few crossings and consider grade separating some of the others.