State senators and representatives, I am writing to you concerning a growing problem in Ohio and the nation: blocked railroad crossings.
Blocked crossings present a clear and present danger to the public, in regard to preventing emergency response vehicles (fire and EMS) in performing their task in a timely and efficient manner. Blocked crossings are also an aggravation and annoyance to the public and those neighbors that have to deal with this problem anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 or 3 hours at a time on a daily basis.
On May 21, a community meeting in Lockland (near Cincinnati) concerning blocked crossings took place. There were more than 50 citizens, five local mayors with the same problem, three of Sen. Brown's office, the police and fire department of Lockland, and four members of the SMART-TD OSLB. This community is at their wits end as to how to stop this problem.
A community meeting on the same issue also was held in Marysville on May 30.
Longer and longer trains are one of the contributing problems. Railroad management and bad dispatching decisions add to the issue. When the Federal Court of Toledo pre-empts a state statute dealing with blocked crossings, that enables the railroads to ignore their responsibilities of being a good corporate citizen.
Please work together on a plan to stop these carriers from this un-safe practice of blocking crossings whenever or where ever they want.
This is an issue that we think is worthwhile of support and to lend your assistance in solving.