Install crossing arms on South Shore tracks at Pine Rd and Ardmore Rd in South Bend, IN

Pine Road has a speed limit of 40mph, like most country roads. Whereas, the Railway speed limit is 79mph. Currently, the crossing for the South Shore tracks only has a red flashing light and bells to warn motorists of a high speed train approaching. Pine is the only road in the area, besides Pear Road, that does not have crossing arm barricades on both the South Shore and freight railways.

Country Club Road, Quince Road, and Grandview Street all have crossing arm barricades for both sets of tracks, while Pear Road and Pine Road do not. Country Club Road and Grandview Street have barricades for each individual set of tracks. When the freight railway is in use only the crossing arms for those tracks come down. Both sets of crossing arms go down, however, when just South Shore is in use due to the hump in the road on the freight side. South Shore is virtually impossible to see until you’re over the freight tracks if you’re heading North over them. Quince does not have a hump in the road but still offers crossing arms on both freight and South Shore railways. Only when the track is in use do the arms come down. Pear Road, like Pine Road, only has crossing arm barricades for the freight tracks. Although, it has a slower speed limit of 30mph for motorist, more homes closer together and closer to the tracks and nothing to obstruct the vision of an oncoming train.

Pine Road tracks leave room for confusion to motorists, especially in the event both tracks are being used almost simultaneously and heading opposite directions. The lack of cross arms, as well as the huge electrical box on the west side of the tracks, is dangerous in an area where high speed trains operate. A photo of the box, through the view of stopping at the marked area on Pine before the tracks, proves how much it affects the view of high speed east bound trains even when motorists are stopped where they legally should be. Many have had to pull up onto the South Shore tracks, due to this box, to make sure a high speed train was not approaching from the west, especially if the freight railway is already in use. Stopping before the box, and marked area, the view is still not completely clear.

Flashing lights are not enough, especially with the amount of daily traffic the tracks receive all day just from families on their way to or from the Indiana Invaders Sport Complex.  If crossing arm barricades are installed, it would reduce any confusion, protects motorists and train operators, and avoid the possibility for any more fatal accidents like the most recent one on these tracks.

We are aware that the recent loss of resident, dear friend, son, and brother, Ryan Voreis; is the only accident at this site in more than twenty years, but the installation of crossing arm barricades would reduce such an accident in the future. It would also bring the friends, family, and other residents a great deal of closure knowing the risk of losing anyone else, to such a preventable accident, has been greatly diminished.

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