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Idaho will have fewer stop signs at railroad crossings

Significant changes are being made to the signs at certain railroad crossings in Idaho

“What we’re doing is bringing it up to national standards, so we’re going to be like the rest of the nation. So anyone that comes into this area knows, you yield, you look both ways and proceed across the tracks,” said ITD’s traffic materials engineer, Bryan Young.

Crossings that are categorized as ‘passive’ which don’t have either flashing lights or flashing lights and roadway gates installed at the crossing will no longer have a stop sign

“The reason that we go to all yield signs across the nation is so that people treat them all the same, and then you only use a stop sign when it’s absolutely needed because then it’s saying ‘hey I’m serious stop,” said Young.

The switch from stop signs to yield signs at these particular crossings is being done by the railroad company that owns the rail line. The funding comes from both the rail line and ITD.

The Idaho Transportation Department says that stop signs could remain at passive crossings if the local road agency does an engineering study, and the results of that study support a stop sign instead of a yield sign.

“Those will be ones that have proven to need a stop sign through an engineering study. There’s something that is restricting the view, they can’t see both ways. It’s basically showing that there’s a higher need to stop,” said Young

According to ITD, Idaho has over 1,450 railroad crossings and 865 of those will be impacted by the sign change.

The project is expected to be completed by December 31, 2019.

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