How (not) to cross a railroad track

Poor infrastructure leads to painful crashes

Bike Crash

Over the course of two months, over fifty cyclists crashed on this section.

Most experienced cyclists know the best way to cross a railroad is at a 90 degree angle, but this advice doesn’t always work .

Take this railroad crossing in Knoxville, Tennessee for instance. Located next to a heavily trafficked road, crossing the track at a 90 would put you directly in the path of traffic. The end result of this nightmarish traffic interchange? Dozens of brutal crashes. Over the course of two months, cameras captures over fifty bicycle accidents at this location.

The situation was so perilous, a local university professor actually wrote a scientific paper on the “Factors influencing single-bicycle crashes at skewed railroad grade crossings.” This paper is the first of it’s kind and documents how best to reduce crash rates at railroad intersections.

Since this video (and the associated paper) was released, the city has instituted a number of changes to help alleviate the problem. For more info on this railroad crossing, visit CityLab.

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  • Shark says:

    Hopefully they have smoothed out the transition a bit, or maybe put up a warning sign.
    Pretty dangerous as a few of those riders fall directly into the path of vehicles.

  • toad says:

    Colorado has a similar technique to take out bikers but by using sewer grates with giant gaps in them to catch wheels.

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