Railroad intersection causing concern as drivers fail to stop

- Concern is growing over a local intersection in Charlotte's Lakewood neighborhood.

FOX 46 cameras were rolling when a CATS bus drove around a railroad crossing arm at Rozzelles Ferry Road and Dupree Street.

Neighbors tell FOX 46 that bus driver isn't the only one who drives around the stop arm.

The lights flash and the arm lowers. It's a tell-tale sign to stop for a train, but some say drivers at the intersection are failing to follow the rules.

"It's a big safety concern," said NCDOT Spokeswoman Jen Thompson.  "Those crossing arms are there for a reason and the stop bars are there for a reason."

Not only is it illegal, but drivers are also risking their lives.

"It causes a lot of problems," said Joe Green, who has worked near the intersection for seven years at (I AM) FORD USED TIRES.

"I done seen it all," he added.

Green has witnessed wicked turns, wrecks-- all kinds of road woes-- all because drivers are constantly dodging the dreaded wait.

"I've seen people go around the stop arm and hit each other," he said.  "Everyday people go around it—every day.  Multiple times a day, every time it comes down, drivers go around it."

His parking lot constantly serves as a cut-through.

"We have a problem with people cutting through the parking lot," Green said.  "If they think it's too much of a risk beating the other cars, they come through the parking lot-- and it's kind of fast sometimes."

The train often travels back and forth-- taking up a lot of time, causing traffic backups before slowly maneuvering through.

"On some days, it's worse than others because the train will stop," said Green. "And some people are real impatient after 20-30 minutes."

FOX 46 reached out to CSX, the railroad operating system, to find out what's posing the problem.  

They told us the intersection is just outside a rail yard and trains may occupy the crossing while picking up and dropping off freight for local customers.

Here is the full statement from CSX:

CSX is committed to being a good neighbor, and we do our best to minimize the impact of our operations on the surrounding community. The Rozzelles Ferry Road crossing is just outside a rail yard, and trains may occupy the crossing while picking up and dropping off freight for local customers. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause local drivers. CSX is working closely with the Charlotte Department of Transportation to advance potential long-term solutions that support the safe and efficient flow of all traffic in this area.

Above all else, CSX prioritizes the safety of our employees, customers and the public. Driving around railroad crossing warning devices that are activated for an oncoming train is illegal and extremely dangerous. We urge drivers and pedestrians to obey all warning signs and signals for their own safety and the safety of train crews.

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