The Fresno Bee looks at dangerous crossings in California, which need improvements. The story depicts fatalities, which could have been avoided, were there gates and lights at the spots. The reporter reveals that railroad crossings in California have been neglected "due to chronic funding shortfalls and bureaucratic inertia." Some major findings are that Fresno city lacks funding to match grants for improving the hazardous crossings, and that the neighboring city of Selma has missed multiple opportunities to go after state and federal funding. Even though numbers of accidents, injuries and fatalities have dropped sharply since the 1970s, the decline is attributed mostly to industry consolidation and track abandonment, the Bee reports. The article includes a map of a four-county area with locations of accidents recorded on railroad crossings from 1996 to 2000.
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