The installation of 24-hour video cameras at three critical railroad intersections will give Prosper emergency personnel, school transportation officials and the general public the opportunity to plan their east-west routes to avoid delays.
The cameras, installed at the railroad intersections of Frontier Parkway, First Street and Prosper Trail, send a wide-angle video image of the area to monitors at the town’s emergency dispatch center for use by emergency personnel, allowing them to provide first responders with an unobstructed route to their destination.
The video image will also be sent to https://www.prospertx.gov/fire-department/ where anyone with an internet connection can view the broadcast signal. Residents who plan to use these intersections may check the appropriate image, and plan their route accordingly. The Prosper school district will also use the camera images to reroute buses where necessary and appropriate.
“We obviously do not have control over the train schedules,” Fire Chief Stuart Blasingame said. “What we can do is keep watch on the trains as they pass and sometimes stop within the Town. Doing so allows our emergency personnel to avoid delays, keeps school buses from getting stuck, and gives residents the ability to plan their routes more effectively.”
Cutting drive time during emergency or medical responses can be life-saving, and minimizing idling time at railroad crossings can save not only fuel but also lessen the frustration related to slow or stopped trains.
Similar visual systems at railroad intersections are in place in various municipalities in and out of Texas and have proven their worth in time and resources saved.
“The cameras are not connected to a recording device and are not keeping a video archive,” Blasingame said. “They are not intended for any other purpose than to provide a real-time visual image of the three intersections.”
A separated grade project has been approved for Frontier Parkway, paving the way for the construction of an overpass that will eliminate the intersection. However, project financing, the first of several steps in the construction process, is just being finalized, putting the project several years from completion.