Keeping drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists safe from speeding trains in North County San Diego

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – We’ve talked about the issue for years:   The often uneasy mix of people–  drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists,   and fast-moving trains in the North County where the only separation is a crossing arm.

Which is why a crossing in Cardiff, Chesterfield Drive, 17,000 drivers a day, is now closed until January 23rd.  A big connection to the 101 on the West, San Elijo Avenue on the East side.

The closure is mostly due to a major reconstruction of the street itself, the grade, median, pavement quality, because a lot of the pedestrian and bicycle enhancements have  or soon will be completed– including new crossing arms devoted only to the latter. Yes, crossing arms strictly to keep pedestrians and bicyclists off the tracks:

Keep in mind, this used to be a single rail corridor– now it’s wider as the double-track project continues that eventually will extend to San Clemente.

Also keep in mind,  hundreds, in the summer, thousands of pedestrians, cross the tracks here every day, including to and from San Elijo State Beach.

Additional arms have also been added for vehicles–  to keep drivers from going around a single arm– this in the name of quiet.

According to Jim Linthicum of SANDAG,  “You want additional railroad gates for what’s called a Quiet Zone.  The additional gate on each side allows the engineer not to have to blow the horn every time they come through the intersection.”

Federal law requires an approaching horn if there aren’t these additional gates.