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Cleveland railroad crossing one of the most dangerous in the country

Feds report Bessemer Ave. crossing in top 15
Posted at 11:51 PM, Oct 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-31 13:18:32-04

According to reports from the Federal Railroad Administration the train crossing near the 8200 block of Bessemer Avenue in Cleveland is one of the most hazardous in the country.

The FRA report showed the crossing listed in the top 15 of locations with 12 or more incidents over the past 10 years.

Nationally recognized railroad safety expert Bob Comer said FRA reports indicated 34 accidents at the crossing since 1980, including a collision between an Amtrak train and car in Dec. 2015.

Fortunately, there were no serious injuries in that accident.

Comer said the Norfolk Southern crossing is in compliance with all federal safety standards, but he explained collisions continue at the location for a number of reasons.

"The crossing at Bessemer has a jog in the road, and has hump or rise in elevation," said Comer. "There are industrial properties on all sides, and high brush and trees blocking visibility. There must better signage well before drivers get on top of the crossing, to help prevent these accidents."

Comer said some cities are even installing traffic lights at crossings, which he said correlate with on-coming trains.

News 5 took this case to Ward 6 Cleveland Councilman Blaine Griffin.

Griffin said he grew up in the area, and admitted the intersection is in need of additional safety measures. He pledged to take safety concerns to Cleveland traffic commissioner and safety director in the coming weeks.

News 5 reached out to Norfolk Southern to see if the company had any thoughts on how to work with Cleveland to improve safety.

Meanwhile, Comer said something must be done as soon as possible.

"If we don't take action, we're just waiting for the next accident to happen," said Comer.