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Letter: Two ways to cut crossing accidents

Frank McBride, of Mattituck, died after a Long

Frank McBride, of Mattituck, died after a Long Island Rail Road train slammed into his vehicle at a Mattituck grade-level crossing Tuesday afternoon, March 22, 2016, the MTA said. Credit: Randee Daddona

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to submit plans to reduce railroad crossing accidents [“A call for rail safety,” News, April 30].

Historically, we’ve seen numerous tragic accidents. In 1982, nine teens lost their lives at Herricks Road in Mineola. The state responded with a grade-crossing elimination project that spanned Herricks Road, Mineola Boulevard and Roslyn Road at a cost of $25 million.

Grade-crossing eliminations are the best way. Accidents are avoided, and traffic is facilitated.

The cost of eliminating the grade crossings statewide would be monumental. The MTA should look at alternatives. The crossing gates are based on technology developed and patented in the 1890s. These gates could use an update. Efforts could also focus on driver education.

Research funded by the Federal Railroad Administration has developed technology to notify a train engineer of a vehicle or other obstruction on the tracks. On Long Island, we have a strong wireless system that could be used to quickly notify train crews.

Owen T. Smith, Roslyn

Editor’s note: The writer is a professor emeritus at LIU Post in Brookville.