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Residents pleaded with the Alden Town Board Monday to keep a railroad crossing on Reinhardt Road open.

Many of the 21 residents in attendance said they want to keep the crossing open so that traffic patterns in the area are not disturbed and that future accidents are averted. Residents spoke out on the issue for more than an hour.

Town Board members said keeping the crossing open is a state matter.

Supervisor Richard Savage shared with residents recent correspondence he has had with Peter Loomis, a state administrative law judge who ruled the crossing should be closed because of safety concerns.

Residents expressed frustration that they did not have adequate input during a hearing on the matter last summer.

"There was no public input when Judge Loomis came to town," said Gerhard Theismann of Reinhardt Road. "Now, let's correct this."

He said a speed zone should be instituted instead of closing the crossing.

"If you have to, put a speed zone up, 40 mph," Theismann said.

Savage said he will draft another letter to address the residents' concerns. The town has already asked the state to do another traffic study in the area, which the state agreed to do.

Town officials said they were concerned that whatever they do on the issue might not make a difference.

"They are going to do what they want to do," Town Councilman James Uebelhoer said of state officials. "That's the bottom line."

Savage said the town wants railroad crossings at Reinhardt Road and at nearby Peters Corners Road to remain open. Residents also expressed a desire to keep the Peters Corners Road crossing open.

"Quite honestly, I don't know where to go from here," Savage said.

The Reinhardt Road crossing goes over a railroad track operated by CSX. Town officials Monday said the cost of putting cul-de-sacs on either end of a closed railroad crossing could cost $225,000.

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