Death tracks up close

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    Crossing Smoothness

    This railroad crossing was repaired in October 2010. Worn railroad ties were removed and asphalt was laid to support steel rails. Later improvements placed gaps on both sides of all rails and replaced much of the asphalt with concrete and steel. While harder surfaces minimize potholes and cracks surrounding rails, the steel frames surrounding rails have pronounced wide and deep gaps which trap the wheels of many bicyclists, causing serious injuries to more than just a few (public records request?).

    side-angleWith improvements made in late 2010, this railroad crossing has been made very smooth. Motorized, non-motorized vehicles and pedestrians have no barriers to crossing the railroads due to its evenness with the roadway.

    The flangeway is the space between the running rail and the guard rail in road crossings which provide clearance for passage of wheel flanges. The figures above show gaps between the rail and the side pad and the rail and the center pad are 2.5 and 3 inches wide and 2.5 inches deep. Typically only two significant gaps are only found at railroad crossings, between the rails and the center pads. At this crossing, bicyclists must cross four  gaps which are larger than most mountain bicycle wheels at an angle less than ¼ the 90 degree standard.


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