Closing railroad crossing will reduce bicycle and pedestrian access in Springfield

Springfield City and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co. are proposing to eliminate a railroad crossing on North Broadway Avenue and close the street to through traffic.

Many city residents are opposing the measure. According to a Springfield News-Leader article:
Aside from vehicle access, neighbors say pedestrian and bicyclist safety is their primary concern.

"The problem is traffic on Grant," said Joanne Watkins, president of the Woodland Heights Neighborhood association, just north of the crossing. "It's heavy now and going to get a lot heavier."

Watkins said many neighborhood residents are elderly or unable to drive, and often walk to the grocery store. If Broadway closes, the only way across the tracks is through the Grant Avenue underpass, where a pedestrian walkway is only on the east side of the street.

"People will have to cross Grant to get to the underpass walkway, then cross again to get back," said Watkins. "It's not safe."