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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has recognized MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) for its grade crossing safety program and recommended other railroads across the country consider making similar upgrades.
LIRR’s program has “dramatically improved” railroad safety through the use of delineators at railroad crossings and enhanced GPS alerts through a partnership with Google’s Waze navigation software application, LIRR officials said in a press release.
In June 2018, the LIRR installed flexible, four-feet high reflective delineators, extended roadway markings and added reflective devices to better alert drivers that they should not make a turn onto railroad tracks. The delineators were designed to help drivers who may become confused by GPS directions while driving in darkness or inclement weather.
To further those safety efforts, the LIRR partnered with Waze to implement an in-app feature to alert motorists that they are approaching a grade crossing.
In the first year the program was launched, the problem of motorists inadvertently turning onto tracks has been virtually eliminated, officials said. Until 2018, the problem had been happening with increased frequency.
Last month, the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center included the LIRR’s implementation of delineators, road striping and reflective markings at grade crossings as part of the center's published research for the FRA into grade crossing right-of-way incursion treatments.