A frequently used railroad crossing on Gratiot malfunctioned Monday evening, prompting cars to cross the dark tracks despite blinking lights and chiming bells.
DDOT buses didn’t take the risk and stopped on either side of the crossing shortly after 10 p.m., leaving riders stranded at bus stops along one of the most dangerous strips of Gratiot, near French Road. Many impatient riders, including a man pushing someone in a wheelchair, walked off the buses and onto the cracked sidewalks.
Many cars zipped across the tracks without pausing.
It’s unclear how long the crossing malfunctioned.
We alerted the Michigan Department of Transportation, the oversight agency for railroad crossings.
Last month, we revealed a railroad crossing on the west side that malfunctioned in the same way.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.