EDITORIAL: Another day, another preventable crash at the bridge in Glenville

The scene Tuesday

The scene Tuesday

The Glenridge Road rail overpass in Glenville is struck with such frequency, we’re beginning to think that when a truck hits the bridge, an angel gets its wings.

It’s the only reasonable explanation left for why despite signs warning drivers about the approaching bridge and other obvious indications of a low bridge ahead, trucks keep hitting it, often tearing the tops off their cargo containers like the foil lid on your yogurt cup.

It happened again Tuesday afternoon, when yet another truck failed to squeeze under the 10-foot-11-inch gap between the road below and the Canadian Pacific Railroad tracks above.

And this time, unlike the many other times this has happened, a driver following behind was struck by debris and injured.

It’s only a matter of time before the lucky streak ends and someone is killed.

Routine methods for stopping the collisions have been exhausted. The state doesn’t seem to be listening. Running photos of the crashes in the paper doesn’t seem to work. And the trucking industry hasn’t adapted its maps or technology to account for the low bridge.

Other suggestions that haven’t been implemented include installing more flashing lights everywhere, a bar with a moveable panel or plastic chains at the height of the bridge that harmlessly strike an oncoming truck to warn the driver, a light-beam pointed across the road that sets off a loud alarm or bright flashing lights, turnaround lanes and rumble strips in the road. And begging the state and the railroad company to do something significant hasn’t worked.

It’s time to really get creative.

Maybe the town could hold a contest, with residents getting a prize for the most unique solutions.

Maybe a gun that fires off a barrage of paint balls that strike the driver’s windshield when he passes under a barrier.

Or have balloons pop out of the road when a too-tall truck gets close.

Remember the old Groucho Marx game show, “You Bet Your Life?” A giant duck with a cigar in its mouth could pop out of the sky as a tall truck nears the bridge.

Sure, we could go with the effort proposed Wednesday by local state legislators Sen. Jim Tedisco and Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh and Glenville Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle, who want to ramp up their pleas for help to the state Department of Transportation and the railroad company, and to give towns the authority, through state legislation, to seek legal remedies for inaction.

But rather than crazy ideas, new laws and pleas for help that fall on deaf ears, how about the state and the railroad company finally just address the blatantly dangerous problem they’ve ignored for so long before someone dies?

Now that would be a response worthy of angel’s wings.

Categories: Editorial, Opinion

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