APFwebs: Santa Fe, NM

Windy conditions may exist

by ✍ July 5th, 2015

The sign reads, “Watch for water”. Appropriate, I guess. Water is so rare in the desert southwest, folks might forget the possibility it could be there and impede the path of a car. “Water? What?” (Or “Oh look! I see some! There!”)

The US DOT FHWA Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) describes a 9-foot ground-level to center placement for the “crossbuck” regulatory sign. (“Height may be varied as required by local conditions.”)

Hence you see familiar “Railroad Crossing” signs at most places where train tracks intersect vehicle thoroughfares. Crossings may also be marked by an active barrier consisting of an arm descending to block traffic flow.

The active barrier has two flashing lights mounted above. There are two more flashing lights mounted at least seven feet ground-level to base, a ringing beacon, and a descending red-striped arm with small flashing lights, at a pivoted height and of a length appropriate to bar traffic.

Got it? In Santa Fe, NM, near several railroad crossings are also corridors for cyclists and pedestrians. Smaller crossbucks have been mounted for cyclists and pedestrians. A courtesy, perhaps, in case they don’t see the vehicular crossbucks above or otherwise notice the tracks or hear the roar and blaring horns of an oncoming train. Assuming they will heed the extra signage.

I understand there was also a hue and cry to install separate active barriers for cyclists and pedestrians. But the idea was derailed.

Santa Fe also marks “Pedestrian Detour”s in places where construction blocks the sidewalk. Important. And we’ve developed the unique idea of Stop signs within round-abouts. (I detest round-abouts.) And “Road Ends” on walls at the end of several short dead-end streets.

Maybe unique signage is one of the reasons to call Santa Fe “The City Different”.

Watch for it. The light you see at the end of the tunnel is the front of an oncoming train. (~David Lee Roth)