RR Petitions to Close 3 Streets in Isthmus Neighborhood

By: Dana Brueck
By: Dana Brueck

One Isthmus neighborhood could see a few of its streets closed under a proposal by a railroad that runs through it, but one woman who lives in the area says she would rather hear whistles than see the streets closed.

"This is a route that Amtrak will use, this is the route that more freight is going to use, this is a route that commuter rail is gonna use," state railroad commissioner Rodney Kreunen says.

It's also a route parents living in this Isthmus neighborhood use every day.
Sally de Broux says, "there's a huge number of people coming from this neighborhood taking their kids to school either on bikes, by bus or in cars."

Many using either Ingersoll, Brearly or Paterson Streets.

"The roads would be taken out, pavement removed and they would be dead ended," Kreunen says.

"Closing the streets, it never even occurred to me," de Broux says.

But commissioner Rodney Kreunen says it occurred to the railroad company and the crews who nearly miss accidents with street traffic.

"A ride in a train makes you wonder why motorists drive the way they do," Kreunen says.
Sally de Broux says, "I've known people who've had near miss kinds of situations, but I never have because I respect it when lights are flashing, and we do watch for the trains."
Kreunen says a city ordinance bans trains from blowing their whistles at crossings.

"Even though I didn't like sound of whistles it's harder to notice," de Broux says.

But the mayor has said gates at street crossings could cost the city $10 million dollars.

"In an urban area we have to live with fact people living here and trains go through it. It seems like the safest way but it's also a very costly way," de Broux says.

"It's a complex issue when you go to close three streets. We go through this, throughout state at all times and in long run, it works out best for people. We need to hear the facts," Kreunen says.

The state's railroad commissioner expects a hearing in mid-June on the issue of whistles and the street closings.

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