The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Editorials

February 19, 2014

Editorial: RR signal could spur business

Sometimes the presence of a truck pulling across a road or a firetruck responding to an emergency would be seen by drivers in time for a thoughtful response. Other times it would seem that a train blocking a street with red warning lights flashing would be a signal to those in cars approaching the railroad crossing.

It seems that the railroad tracks and accompanying red lights along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard aren’t enough for drivers between 29th and 38th streets.

There isn’t an Anderson motorist along that route who hasn’t come up on the lights and had to make a decision whether to wait the train out or make a diversionary move over to Madison or Raible avenues.

To provide an earlier warning system, the city plans to add signals at 29th and 38th streets. The Indiana Department of Transportation is to provide 80 percent of the $380,000 price tag.

There was a time of course when such warnings would seem practical — specifically the time when auto parts truckers needed a clear route to get to the interstate.

The cost isn’t even for drivers to instead seek a bridge over the tracks.

But maybe it’s enough to show a potential developer that it might be feasible to build on the land left vacant by GM. The land has been administered by the RACER Trust, which had a meeting a few months ago to discuss the progress of selling off the acreage.

Many Anderson folks would like to speculate that a $380,000 expenditure might draw investors. That’s why an extra turn lane was provided near the Flagship. And it’s why the city is improving its gateways into the city. These projects aren’t solely for economic development but they can help show that Anderson is serious about attracting business.

Maybe the railroad signals along MLK Boulevard will be used for nothing more than drivers making decisions on which way to turn. But it would be nice if they helped turn business and industry our way, too.

In summary The price tag of $380,000 for signals seems costly but maybe the addition of railroad signals will help attract industry.

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