LETTER: Rail overpass is long overdue

Concerns over plan to reroute trains through Abbotsford

In reference to increased rail traffic through downtown Abbotsford :

I want to make it clear that I respect the fact that the local rail line predates my residency, and I also fully realize that I cannot influence decisions made by railway companies.

At the same time, if our city had $17 million available to donate to the YMCA, why not instead direct it towards a rail overpass ?

Abbotsford is ill-prepared to handle the two months (possibly longer) of two-kilometer long trains taking up to 10 minutes to pass through the Essendene and George Ferguson rail crossings.

Existing rail loads — not to mention false signals that engage the rail barriers — already result in traffic backed up several blocks both to the east and to the west.

One example is what happened shortly after five p.m. on June 25th.  After the rail barriers at Essendene and George Ferguson Way were lifted, two police vehicles — lights and sirens engaged — had to weave between standing traffic in order to travel east on George Ferguson Way, and then south on Gladys.

Local residents may also remember the instance when a train blocked both crossings for an extended period of time, and the only other route to access the freeway was backed up for blocks — and this was with existing rail loads.

Instances such as the above affect traffic movement and access of emergency vehicles — we are at least 20 years behind in having a rail overpass on either Essendene or George Ferguson Way.

Regina Dalton