Jun 20, 2012 6:36 PM by Jenise Fernandez
Railroad crossings in New Iberia will be upgraded soon, but not before the Department of Transportation and Development closes a few. The plan is to add gates at crossings to improve safety. There are 23 railroad crossings throughout the city in need of an upgrade. DOTD officials say three of those crossings will be closed, on Providence, Prairie and Lee streets. The city council voted unanimously not to close any crossings, but DOTD has the final say. Perry Templeton's accounting firm is next to the Providence street railroad crossing. Templeton says closing it would be an inconvenience.
"This is located in the core of New Iberia, the crossing is at the rear of the courthouse there's a considerable amount of pedestrian traffic here," he said.
Templeton is gathering signatures and sending letters to DOTD to reconsider the closure. So far, he has more than 150 signatures.
"There are a lot of people voicing their concerns about this closure. I don't understand why they want to remove the better protected crossing," he added.
The main reason why Templeton doesn't think the crossing on Providence should be closed is because there's never been a collision here.
"It's better protected with the flashing lights and bells than any of the adjacent crossings," he said.
But it doesn't have crossing gates. In a statement, DOTD says it recommends closing the crossing because of "the minimal amount of traffic, absence of warning devices, and close proximity to streets with crossing that have active warning devices."
"Closing this would be a huge inconvenience. It will take a lot of adjusting," Templeton added.