The Rail Trail Crossing Inventory is a comprehensive inventory of 95 crossings of rail trails and off-roadway shared use paths on the Cape, based on data collected in the summer of 2020. This inventory is intended as a resource for town engineers and planners, as well as residents, to identify the current status of rail trail crossings and possible improvements to those crossings.
The inventory covers crossings on six different trails within 11 Cape Cod towns. The inventory report features elements impacting safety and comfort, such as the presence and condition of signage, pavement markings, and other traffic safety features. The inventory also examines geometry and sight lines, providing a general picture of the intersection.
The inventory summarizes crossing-related design guidance from a variety of federal and state sources, such as the Federal Highway Administration’s Guide for Improving Pedestrian Safety at Uncontrolled Crossing Locations and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities. It also breaks down the prevalence of crossing-related features Cape-wide, with the help of numerous charts and graphs.
Finally, the inventory categorizes all 95 crossings into a chart suggesting potential crossing treatments based on traffic volumes, speed limits, and road geometry. While not prescriptive, town staff can use the chart to assess current infrastructure and consider future upgrades.
Rail Trail Crossing Inventory Web App
Commission staff also produced a companion interactive map, with ID numbers for each trail crossing referenced in the report. This map allows participants to click on crossing locations, with a pop-up providing basic information about the crossing’s existing features.
Looking forward, data will be collected at additional locations, including side paths adjacent to roadways and smaller-scale paths that serve an important role in local transportation. In coordination with the towns, Commission staff will update the crossing data periodically to ensure that the map remains up to date.