Elected officials and railway must solve crossing issue

Or letter writer says people will continue to get killed walking across train tracks

Dear Sir:

An open letter to Mayor Carol Leclerc, MLA Ellis Ross, MP Nathan Cullen, Premier John Horgan, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Luc Jobin, President and CEO CN Rail.

On Wednesday, Sept. 6, a man was struck and killed by a train in Terrace, B.C. This tragedy affects many – the friends and family of the deceased, the crew of the train, the first responders and countless others.

Sadly, this event did not have to happen. For years this community has spoken of the need for added safety for people of this town, like many others across the country, that finds itself divided by our iconic symbol of a railway. Historically and economically the railway links this country from coast to coast. More and more communities now find themselves, at times, held hostage by our rail lines.

In our community, especially with the success of the growth of the port in Prince Rupert, we are experiencing more and more trains crossing through our town. For some people the added rail traffic adds minor inconveniences. I live on the south side of town and the Kenney Street crossing is my closest route in and out of town for work and retail. I am more and more forced to alter my route, adding time and mileage to my desired destinations. It is a bit of a drag to have to wait (for times up to 20-plus minutes) or turn around and choose the only other route into town over our sole overpass. But I am fortunate to own a vehicle and can add to the time or gas used. It can be annoying but not life altering.

I am always grateful that I am not travelling by foot having to wait or add the couple of kilometres that would take much more time to walk. I wonder how many people are late for work, and appointment or affected by inclement weather who have to either wait or alter their footpath?

The spot where the gentleman lost his life is well known for accidents. Regrettably his death was not the first and even more distressing, it will likely not be the last. It is a level crossing used by too many people to get to one side of town to another. Recently, after another accident, a fence was installed. Fences, concrete barriers and other impediments will not keep people from taking a shorter route. That fact is a reality. Those of us who have cars simply can’t appreciate the day to day realities of those on foot.

This area needs a pedestrian walkway. We also need another overpass for vehicles on either the east or west side of Terrace. No one in Terrace will deny these projects are essential. But here’s where it gets problematic: cost. Either one of these projects will be exceedingly costly and who will pay? The city cannot afford such endeavours, nor can the province. They are simply too expensive for those coffers. I get it, we’re talking millions of dollars. But I truly believe the time has come that all parties must come together to make these necessities happen. No more talk; it’s time for real action. Please put partisan politics aside and sit down together to make it happen. Everyone will need to contribute funds, including CN. I implore our Mayor, MLA and MP to schedule a meeting with each other to get things happening. You are our elected officials and it’s your job to lobby the higher elected officials and CN to make these projects real – no more studies or inquires. No more wringing of hands simply stating it’s too expensive and nothing more can be done.

CN too must be held accountable to be a better corporate citizen in not only Terrace, but all across the country in towns and cities where trains affect day to day movement. Erecting fences, putting up warning signs and barriers is simply not enough. People will always need to cross rail lines and it is up to all concerned parities to make it happen safely. I understand it will cut into their profit margin, but how many people must lose their lives? How do we value a life against profit?

I am not looking to blame anyone for what happened because that will not change anything. We can be the change. Will we? I put the challenge to all of you.

Yours sincerely,

Greer Kaiser,

Terrace, B.C.


Just Posted

Festival of Lights 2017

Church choirs helped kick off the family event in downtown Terrace

Caledonia Kermode basketball team jumps into season

The senior boys played a tournament this weekend in Terrace, winning one, losing two

Caledonia girls hold sixth in volleyball provincials

One Terrace player, Jacey Neid, earned second team all star in the AAA championship

Smash-and-grab thieves target Salvation Army

$800 in jewelry stolen from silent-auction display window

Too successful to succeed?

Soup kitchen proprietors taxed on mission to feed the poor

VIDEO: Vancouver Whitecaps acquire star striker Kei Kamara

Kamara has 103 goals and 39 assists in 298 appearances over 11 Major League Soccer seasons

Smartphone pedometers underestimate steps, but valuable health tool: study

UBC researchers found the iPhone underestimated steps by 21.5 per cent

VIDEO: ‘Last Jedi’ premiere kicks off with droids, Daisy Ridley

Latests Star Wars film premiered in style ahead of Dec. 15 theatre debut

UPDATE: Poor ventilation likely cause of carbon monoxide incident at B.C. farm

All 42 patients have been released from hospital, according to Delta Fire

BC Lions part ways with three coaches

These are the first personnel moves made by new general manager Ed Hervey

VIDEO: B.C. to end geographic area rent increases, close fixed-term lease loopholes

Both clauses allowed landlords to raise rents above the max annual allowable rent increase

Canadian ice skaters win three medals at Grand Prix Final

Last event before the Winter Olympic Games

Most Read