How to navigate the RTD G Line crossings
Posted on 11.09.16
The railroad crossings along the Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) G Line are fully active and operating along the corridor, which winds through Adams County, Arvada and Wheat Ridge.
Freight trains are currently maneuvering through the 16 crossings during most of the day and the G Line commuter rail trains will also start passing through the crossings when it starts back up with testing and when it eventually opens for service.
So, it is important for the traveling public to understand how each crossing can be navigated, whether you’re driving a vehicle, riding a bicycle or walking through the intersection.
RTD and its contractor, Denver Transit Partners (DTP), worked closely with the cities of Arvada and Wheat Ridge and Adams County to design the crossings to be safe for train, vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic and also allow for good vehicle flow on the roadways when trains are not passing through the crossing.
Both cities reviewed and approved multiple RTD design and construction packages, which resulted in the layout and traffic signals the public sees at the crossings today.
Three types of crossings along the G Line
- Pre-signal crossing – The public will see two traffic signals when approaching the crossing – one before the tracks and one after the tracks just past the east/west roadway (like Ridge Road and Grandview). The first signal is called the pre-signal which will turn red before the second signal to make sure traffic stops before proceeding onto the railroad tracks. For traffic that has already preceded onto the railroad tracks, the second signal will stay green to allow for traffic to turn left or right onto the east/west roadway. As long as motorists obey the yellow to red signal change and stop at the large white stop bar on the roadway, this signaling change will allow the flow of traffic to clear the railroad tracks in a safe manner. If a motorist is driving northbound toward a pre-signal crossing, the second signal will have a yellow flashing left arrow that will turn a solid green arrow so that the motorists can clear the railroad tracks while the southbound traffic stops at a red light before entering the intersection.
- T intersection or traditional crossing – These crossings only have one traffic signal. If a motorist is traveling northbound, the signal will be on the opposite side of the tracks just past the east/west roadway so when there is a red light at that signal, vehicles should stop at the large white stop bar before the railroad tracks.
- No signal crossing – This type of crossing has no traffic signal. The gate arms and red flashing lights act as a red light and vehicles should stop at the large white stop bar on the roadway when the crossing arms start to come down and the red lights begin to flash.
Every crossing, no matter what type it is, has gates that block the entire roadway to keep motorists from driving around the gates when they are down and a train is preparing to cross through. The crossings also have red flashing lights and bells that will activate as a train is approaching. There are signs at each crossing that says “Stop here when flashing” and points down to the place motorists and pedestrians should wait while trains proceed through the crossing.
In addition, most crossings have pedestrian gates that people walking will need to pull open to cross the tracks.
The pedestrian should only pull the gate open when the crossing gate arms are up and the red lights and bells are not activated. Miller Street and Tabor Street crossings do not have any pedestrian gate.
The Olde Wadsworth Boulevard and Vance Street crossings have automatic pedestrian gates (they are small versions of the large red and white gate arms).
The graphics above show each type of crossing and also depictions of the signage and pedestrian gates.
No matter what pedestrian amenity there is at a crossing, be sure to stop at the pedestrian gate when there is an activation for approaching trains and look both ways before crossing the tracks even if the crossing is not activated. The public is also reminded never to drive around the gate arms when they are down and obey all traffic laws. If you are riding a bicycle, please follow these same safety tips and traffic laws.
Here is a list of the 16 crossings along the G Line and the crossing type associated with each one.
|West 60th Avenue||No signal|
|Lowell Boulevard||No signal|
|Tennyson Street||No signal|
|Saulsbury Street||T intersection|
|Vance Street||T intersection|
|Olde Wadsworth Boulevard||No signal|
|Allison/Zephyr Street||No signal|
|Balsam Street||No signal|
|Carr Street||No signal|
|Garrison Street||No signal|
|Independence Street||No signal|
|Parfet Street||T intersection|
|Robb Street||T intersection|
An opening date of the G Line will be announced as soon as possible.