A resolution of support for the installation of safety gates at a rail crossing on Lemoyne Road has been approved by the Lake Township trustees.
The crossing, located near the Lake School District campus on Lemoyne, has been identified as dangerous by the foundation, Angels on Track, because of its proximity to the schools and the high number of teen drivers traveling on the road to and from the high school.
The lighting system at the crossing was upgraded in April 2013 but the crossing is ranked low - 5,648 out of 5,800 – in a prioritized list of crossings in the state by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.
The resolution approved by the trustees says eight school buses, carrying an average of 48 students, travel over the crossing eight times a day “…and the lack of gates creates a compromising safety factor…”
Another factor noted by Angels on Track is the angle the tracks cross the road, making it difficult to see down the track.
Richard Welling, a township trustee, said there are on average two trains a day using the crossing and the trains aren’t usually traveling at a high rate of speed.
Trustees Ron Sims and Melanie Bowen agreed with Welling before voting on the resolution it was better to “err on the side of safety” as faster trains may become the norm in the future.
Jason Gilham, a PUCO spokesman, said the crossing’s low ranking reflects the train count and the speed of the trains, which is usually only 10 miles per hour.
The lights were upgraded to 12-inch LED lights from 8-inch incandescent lights, he said, noting only open, public at-grade crossings are included in the rankings and accident data from five consecutive years are included in the calculation.
Only two other crossings in Wood County, CSX crossings at U.S. 20 and E. Broadway that rank 5,693rd and 5,700th , are ranked lower than the Lemoyne Road crossing.
The highest ranked crossings in the county are CSX crossings at U.S 6 and Lamb Street in North Baltimore, which are ranked 8th and 21st statewide.