I urge all residents and local government officials of Falmouth and Cumberland to educate themselves on the benefits of “channelization,” given the increased frequency and speed of the proposed trains that our towns are to expect in the very near future.

Simply put, the installation of median barriers at railroad crossings (channelization), coupled with the lights and gates that already have been installed at Amtrak’s expense, decreases the chances of an incident with an oncoming train 50 percent  to 70 percent as compared to the current practice of routine whistle warnings. These statistics are available to the public and are based on the Federal Railroad Authority’s risk assessment formulas. Also, the engineer still holds the authority to sound his/her whistle at any time.

We will see double the amount of trains travelling at double the speed. All of us should support channelization as an effective means to increase safety at our railroad crossings under the guidance of good old common sense.

Richard Gill