Ken Larsen's website - Light rail at-grade vs level-separated crossings


Here are a couple of photos which illustrate the difference between an "at-grade" crossing and a "level separated" crossing:


At-grade crossing

On the DOLRT route, there will be over 40 of these. 

Traffic will be halted for 50 seconds for each train crossing. 

There will be approximately 150 crossings per day on each such road. 

That's over 2 hours per day of blocking traffic on each such road!
Level-separated or aerial crossing

Trains and cars are safely separated. 

This image appears on the GoTriangle website.  There are no images of at-grade crossings.  This is because GoTriangle wants the public to believe that the whole route is level separated. 
False claim on GoTriangle's website. 



NCDOT's criteria for when level-separated is needed


According to section 7.5 of NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT)'s Roadway Design Manual, there should be a level-separated crossing (instead of an at-grade crossing) if the Exposure Index (EI) is higher than 15,000 in a rural area or 30,000 in an urban area.


Exposure Index (EI) = Number of train crossings per day X estimated number of vehicles per day


Example:  Each road on the DOLRT will have 150 train crossings per day.  If the number of vehicles per day were 500, then EI would be 150 x 500 = 75,000.  That's well above 30,000, so level separated (e.g. a bridge) should be used ... not an at-grade crossing.


Farrington Road example:  The Exposure Index for Farrington Road will be well above 30,000.  There will be 150 train crossing per day + I counted 205 vehicles in just 35 minutes on October 10, 2018. [details]  Therefore, Farrington Road must NOT have at-grade crossing.


Ken Larsen's home page