Archbold, OH
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Mostly cloudy

“Crossing Blocked” Lights Sound Like A Good Idea

Archbold traffic woes due to stopped trains have, at times, been epic in nature. Case in point, the Defiance Street Norfolk Southern railroad crossing being blocked for 18 consecutive hours by a stopped train.

Suggestions to place flashing signs warning drivers of blocked crossings have met with resistance before, including from the Ohio Department of Transportation, which has strict requirements about what is and isn’t allowed along state highways.

Archbold has worked with NS to try and resolve the problem of stopped trains blocking downtown crossings, and it appears that efforts by Archbold police to cite the company for blocking the crossings has done some good. At a meeting of the Archbold Traffic Flow Improvement Committee, Leo Wixom III, police chief, presented data that shows the situation has improved.

But perhaps the most intriguing idea was brought to the group by Dexter Krueger, assistant village engineer, which is based on a system in Oregon.

The city of Oregon has a system of flashing lights and signs that warn motorists when a railroad crossing is blocked, so traffic can take other routes.

Such a system has been discussed before, but this is the first time an actual, working system has been presented.

With the ability to divert traffic to the underpass on Clyde’s Way (County Road 22), installing such a system locally seems to be, to quote a popular expression, a “nobrainer.”

Cost and state regulations are factors, but our public officials need to look into this.