Ashley HartOct 4, 2017, 1:17 pmOct 4, 2017, 1:28 pm

Mount Pleasant considers closing railroad crossings after deadly Valhalla train crash

Both Commerce and Cleveland street crossings could be closed following NTSB study


It's been two years since the deadly Metro-North crash on Commerce Street in Valhalla.

Now, Mount Pleasant officials are calling for the closure of the Commerce Street crossing as well as a crossing nearby. But this one has some residents wondering why.

Back in 2015 when Ellen Brody got stuck driving over the Commerce Street crossing, an MTA train crashed into her car, killing her and five others on board.

The accident sparked safety concerns for railroad crossings. The discussion within the town has been to close the Commerce Street crossing, but where conflict rises is in closing another crossing on Cleveland Street, which is a few miles from where the accident happened.

The National Transportation Safety Board did a study of the four crossings in Valhalla. Studies and the town engineer found that Cleveland Street is the most dangerous of the four.

"God forbid that accident had happened at Cleveland Street, it would’ve been a lot worse," said Mount Pleasant Town Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi.

But some residents and are in disagreement with Fulgenzi that the Cleveland Street crossing should be shut down as well.

"If these professionals are telling me and my town engineer is making the suggestion also, that the crossing should be closed, I think it would be very irresponsible for me to ignore those recommendations,” Fulgenzi said.

But while some residents don't like the idea, others are for in support of whatever will make crossing train tracks safer.

"For safety is always number one priority in any situation, and if they do wind up closing it, I think it's a good idea for them to try to figure out a solution prior to them doing that so it doesn’t affect a lot of the people who do live here," said Deirdre Paletta of Hawthorne.

"I just want people to understand that we are not doing something because we want to make trouble for people. We are trying to make sure this never happens again. I do not want to be here and have to talk about another railroad accident at any crossing," Fulgenzi said.

The town board has scheduled a public hearing on Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. on the potential closures.



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