Wednesday, March 14, 2001

Stuck trucks to close Reading railroad crossing

By Walt Schaefer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        READING — The Voorhees Street railroad crossing, just east of Reading Road, is expected to be closed permanently sometime this spring.

        Mayor Earl Schmidt said Tuesday that at least six tractor-trailers have been unable to negotiate the raised crossing since November, 1999, despite posted warnings prohibiting trucks from using it. Those trucks become stuck on the humped crossing and block it, causing a traffic hazard until they can be moved.

        Voorhees Street, on the east side of Reading Road, is only two blocks long with alternate access to Benson Street and Reading Road via Fourth Street, which parallels Reading.

        “A careful evaluation by the Reading Fire Department, police department and public works department determined that this crossing is a serious safety hazard; and due to the physical characteristics of the area, it would be practically impossible to upgrade the crossing to today's safety standards,” Mr. Schmidt said.

        While a city survey of residents found no objections to the closing, George Tallman, owner of Sorrento's Restaurant and Lounge at Reading and Voorhees, said he would rather the crossing remain open and an alternative be found.

        The mayor said closing the crossing also will make the city eligible for funding to make significant upgrades at the Reading Road/North Street crossing.

        Safety-Service Director Mike Rahall said the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio would make that funding available because the closing will eliminate a traffic hazard and reduce liability risks.


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