City of Phoenix agrees to move traffic signal at dangerous railroad crossing

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

It's been named one of the most dangerous railroad crossings in the country, and with good reason.

Every day, confused motorists come to this intersection of 35th Avenue and Indian School Road in Phoenix, wondering whether they should stop, sit on the tracks, or pull forward.

"They're confused where to stop at for the most part, with the first and second light," said motorist Davin Barnes. "They don't know whether to stop on the tracks or not."

[RELATED: Emergency vote scheduled for dangerous Phoenix railroad crossing]

Back in February, the city of Phoenix installed a new light signal north of the tracks, along 35th Avenue, hoping that would make life easier on motorists.

It did not.

The added confusion, along with an accident last week, prompted the Arizona Corporation Commission to announce that the railroad intersection would be shut down unless the city moved the signal and made the intersection safer and less confusing.

"I could not get past the concern, that if we did not take action, then there could be a situation where a motorist's life is lost, as a result of the failure to act by the Commission," said commissioner Justin Olson.

On Thursday, the Commission held an emergency meeting, during which it approved a city of Phoenix proposal to immediately move the traffic signal and place it south of the railroad tracks on 35th Avenue.

The city is also planning to put up new signage and stripping, so drivers clearly know where to stop.

"Our goal here is the safety of our commuters," said Phoenix Street Transportation Director Maria Hyatt. "If moving the signal to south side effects better safety, that is what we need to do."

City officials said the new light signal will be up and running by May 29.

There will also be additional signage and striping along the roadway.    

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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