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A Mid-Block Solution to Safer Bicyclist and Pedestrian Railroad Crossings

Description

The purpose of this project was to design a new railroad crossing for pedestrians and bicyclists in mid-block or urban areas. In order to develop a successful design, the needs

The purpose of this project was to design a new railroad crossing for pedestrians and bicyclists in mid-block or urban areas. In order to develop a successful design, the needs of the railroad, the end-users, and the city governments were researched and converted into measurable engineering requirements. For the railroad companies, the most important need was a crossing that presents an effective barrier to users while a train is in the area. For bicyclists and pedestrians (the end-users), the most important need was for the crossing to be both reliable and easily accessible. For the city governments, the most important need was a crossing that is inexpensive yet sturdy. The approach to this project was similar to the approach used in many engineering design processes. First is the Introduction, which provides an overview of the issue and presents the full problem statement. Next is the Research of Prior Art, which details the past solutions to railroad crossings as well as the 3 E's of railroad crossing safety. After this, the customer needs are discussed in the Needs to Requirements section and the process of converting these into measurable engineering requirements is shown. Next, various conceptual design options are shown in the Conceptual Design section and a final conceptual design is chosen based on adherence to the stated requirements. This final conceptual design is then taken into the preliminary design phase and refined until it becomes the final preliminary design. After the Final Preliminary Design Description, the Project Conclusions and Recommendations are presented. Due to time and monetary constraints, this project ends after the preliminary design stage. Despite this, the conclusion of this project is that the final design presented here will be successful if additional resources are obtained to move it forward into the detailed design phase. For now, this project has come to a halt due to UP's reluctance to allow any additional railroad crossings in the Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona areas. It is recommended that city officials and bicyclist/pedestrian action groups continue talks with UP until they agree to allow additional crossings to be built that are geared towards non-motorized users.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05