Raised medians at railroad crossings in Aberdeen

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Engineers with the Aberdeen Public Works Department are finding ways to keep drivers safer at railroad crossings.

But not everybody is pleased with the change.

"It prevents a driver from going around the arms, when the signal arms are down. It's to increase safety," said Aberdeen City Engineer Robin Bobzien.

There are mixed feelings from people who drive across the tracks regularly.

"Only two and a half cars can fit in this turning lane, but then there's public safety of the railroad tracks, and not crossing them so it's like trying to find that balance," said Aberdeen driver Cassandra Reff.

Cassandra Reff drives across the tracks at 8th and Roosevelt nearly everyday.

She thinks there will be times when the median will be an inconvenience for drivers.

"You got to go all the way around so it's going to be frustrating to people who are trying to take a certain route," Reff said.

Reff is mostly concerned about emergency personnel not being able to get through because of backed up traffic.

"It's kind of an issue if the ambulance or the fire truck have to get some where and then that's blocked off, somebody could be in cardiac arrest, or in need of immediate services, so that could be a possible issue," Reff said.

Bobzien believes the long term outlook for the addition of the medians, as well as the addition of silent crossings will help keep people on the roads safe.

"In the future we'd like to do the main line as a silent crossing, but this ones a little easier to implement, and this'll be the first of it," Bobzien said.

Once all the work is finished, Bobzien says there will be a total of five raised medians at railroad crossings throughout Aberdeen.