Flaggers at four A Line rail crossings to be removed Friday

DENVER — The flaggers at four RTD A Line crossings will be permanently removed on Friday after state and federal regulators gave the final go-ahead.

The flaggers were put in place two years ago and have cost contractor, Denver Transit Partners, tens of millions of dollars. They worked alongside the crossing arms because of a new technology that RTD used to operate the arms.

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission didn’t trust the technology to keep train passengers and drivers safe, arguing the crossing arms go down too early and stay down too long, possibly prompting drivers to try to go around them.

However, after years of debate and RTD submitting hundreds upon hundreds of documents to the CPUC, it finally got the green light to remove the flaggers.

The crossing attendants will be removed from the Holly, Dahlia, Steele and Clayton crossings at 6 p.m. Friday. They will be removed from the Chambers and Havana Crossings at 6 p.m. Monday.

RTD is hoping to remove the flaggers from all 11 A Line crossings over the coming weeks.

The next step will be for cities to apply for quiet zones with the Federal Railroad Administration. Along with the flaggers, the trains are also required to sound their horns at each crossing. It’s something people living nearby have been complaining about since the start.

Now that state and federal regulators have signed off on the crossing arm technology, the cities and people living near the A Line hope quiet zones will be the next step. However, there is no indication when that approval could come.

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