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A Reader Says: Train will clog up Redlands streets

A Reader Says: Train will clog up Redlands streets
Train will clog up Redlands streets
There are many projected and hoped for benefits touted for the proposed Rail to Redlands and its estimated 720
daily riders. None, however, touches or addresses adequately the for-certain degradation to the safety of residents of
The fixed route rail line necessarily crosses existing streets, 14 in Redlands. Solution to the inevitable conflicts will be
the closure of two streets resulting of course in more vehicles/traffic and congestion upon other streets, for example,
California, Alabama, Tennessee and Texas, all of which have crossings to be encountered, also. But just imagine the
congestion that will occur on those already heavily traveled streets with more vehicles and 288(!) train crossings per
weekday, all between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. with the necessary interruption and delay of street traffic.
There are several aspects related to the safety issue that should be of concern. Obviously the rail line is not located in
an isolated or industrial corridor but in an area with pedestrian traffic near heavily frequented restaurants and
occupied buildings, some of significant historical vintage. Unlike many commuter lines that run parallel to major
thoroughfares the Rail to Redlands is perpendicular to major streets. Though crossings are made as safe as
possible, it is nearly impossible to prevent a pedestrian or careless driver from entering train tracks at street grade
intersections, evidenced by the recent incident in Oxnard. Fail safe measures are very costly and often left to the
local cities to construct with limited funds. The Federal Rail Administration reports more accidents/fatalities in 2013-
14 than in the previous five years combined.
Other consequential impacts are very possible. If a hefty portion of the projected $3 million annual operating deficit
needs to be provided by financial resources now collected by or made available to Redlands, might that sap funds
from the city’s General Fund with negative impacts upon public fire and police safety departments, with an already
understaffed Police Department? Or alternatively necessitate additional taxes.
With the planned 24 trains per day and stoppages at the rail crossings, it’s a certainty that public safety and
emergency vehicles will be adversely affected in their quest to efficiently reach a destination. Not only will they also
be stopped, but further stymied upon the train passage by the vehicle queue assembled and waiting on both sides of
the crossing for the reopening, and unable to readily provide clear passage.
— John Egan, Redlands

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