KUSA – The blaring train horns some residents and businesses have complained about near A Line crossings could be coming to an end in the near future following a decision from the Colorado Public Utilities Commission and Federal Railroad Administration.
That’s because the Regional Transportation District (RTD) announced Tuesday that it has gotten an OK to remove their so-called flaggers (the attendants with stop signs) from six of the crossings for the commuter train between Denver International Airport and Union Station.
Both the flaggers and blaring horns announcing the train's arrival have been at the A Line crossings around the clock for more than two years due to timing issues with the gates. The gates were coming down too early and staying down too long.
Denver Transit Partners, RTD's private contractor, pays for the flaggers, which RTD officials told the Denver Business Journal cost "several millions a month."
RTD said it is still waiting for approval to quit using flaggers at the five other crossings where they’ve been required. When that happens, cities can apply for quiet zone status to ensure that the train horns that have prompted some complaints won’t blare at all hours of the day.
The crossings where flaggers have been removed are at: Havana, Chambers, Clayton, Dahlia, Holly and Steele streets, according to RTD.
This development isn’t unexpected. During a meeting in March, state regulators approved the amount of time the A Line’s gates stayed down at certain intersections – something that had been a point of contention, especially since the PUC before had denied RTD’s request to approve the crossings due to safety concerns.
In the news release, RTD said it would start removing flaggers at the Clayton, Steele, Holly and Dahlia crossings Friday evening, and at Havana and Chambers on Monday.
Now that the flaggers are in the process of being removed, RTD has a public service announcement to keep in mind: There will be warning devices -- like gates, flashers and signage -- at the railroad crossings, and you definitely should not ignore those.
Look both ways before you cross, and always be vigilant.