May 31, 2016
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UPDATE: Union Pacific returned our inquiry on this matter and suggest that members of the public report this malfunctioning crossing arm to the UP 24/7 help line at 1-888-877-7267. Also, this link provides more contact info.

Yet again, one of our readers has written into the Richmond Standard complaining about the safety issues posed by the railroad crossing arm at Cutting and Carlson boulevards, which seems to have a mind of its own.

The crossing arm has a tendency to go down and up even when a train isn’t coming, confusing and angering drivers and threatening to damage cars and cause accidents.

Our reader decided to film the crossing arm malfunctioning at about 10:30 a.m. Monday morning. Here’s her report:

“I was just stuck waiting for the guardrails to stop flashing and going up and down, signaling like a train was coming,” she said. “After the third time I began to record…The first 3 minutes, you can see traffic backing up as the lights flash and the guardrails go up and down. You can see the driver ahead of me get frustrated from the wait. At the third minute, you see guard tail going up and cars begin to honk and go against the light and into oncoming traffic. Clearly a huge safety issue.”

The reader, much like the several other drivers who have reported this issue to the Richmond Standard, said she fears something tragic will have to occur before the city, federal government or railroad companies do anything to fix it.

“What are they waiting for? Another train death?” our reader said.

Check back for updates on this story as we await word from government agencies on this issue.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.