Friday, February 23

Brightline changing traffic patterns at railroad crossings in Indian River County

Safety improvements are coming to railroad crossings in Indian River County.

At the intersection of 41st Street and Old Dixie Highway, a sign reads “Oncoming Traffic Does Not Stop.”

Signs like this warn drivers in Indian River County of a change in traffic patterns at some railroad crossings.

“Those were what we refer to as a four-way stop condition, and Brightline removed the stop signs for vehicles driving east across the tracks,” Indian River County traffic engineer Erik Ferguson said.

Brightline said it’s a safety measure to keep cars off the tracks and keep traffic moving.

“We’re trying to keep that area between the railroad tracks and the parallel road clear,” Ferguson said.

Vero Beach residents like Bobby Batton are happy to see the changes.

“They come through so often,” Batton said. “I think it’s a good idea.”

He said he’s seen his fair share of close calls at railroad crossings.

“Some of the older drivers seem to be a little confused sometimes whether they should go or stop,” Batton said.

Brightline partnered with Indian River County to get seven intersections changed from stop signs to traffic signals. Brightline is responsible for the design and installation.

“The main reason we do this is because there’s not enough room for vehicles to wait, particularly school buses, a long truck,” Ferguson said. “What we’re trying to accomplish with the traffic signals is we have people in most places wait on the other side of the tracks.”

Three traffic signals have already been put up. Ferguson said the remaining intersections should be completed in the next six months.

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