Train Blocking at Yahara

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?
jjoyce
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Postby jjoyce » Thu May 17, 2007 1:21 pm

Stomach wrote:I get your point but bikes and even pedestrians get stuck behind the trains.


Bikes don't get so stuck in traffic that they can't seek alternative routes. If you're in line in your car, you're there until the train moves.

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Postby Frank Booth » Thu May 17, 2007 1:28 pm

jjoyce wrote:
Stomach wrote:I get your point but bikes and even pedestrians get stuck behind the trains.


Bikes don't get so stuck in traffic that they can't seek alternative routes. If you're in line in your car, you're there until the train moves.


Or if you're drinking the Dew, you can just chug it and tail-whip right over that friggin' train.

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Postby TAsunder » Thu May 17, 2007 3:05 pm

I think the frequency is being overstated. I commuted from around the east town mall to downtown for about 3 years and it happened maybe a dozen or so times per year.

Still, when it happened, it was really annoying. That is a really low fine and I wonder whether it would even be economical for most violators to prevent the blockages ... I don't know how much it costs to reschedule trains but it surely could be a hundred or two dollars in some cases?

If it was vandalism... too damn bad, still fine them. Shouldn't someone be checking out the train to make sure it's not going to derail and kill people or similar before starting it up?

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Postby Aubrey McFate » Thu May 17, 2007 3:22 pm

There is a state law, too, about trains obstructing highways for more than ten minutes, with a $500 fine (up from $25 before last year) or (in theory) 15 days in jail for an officer of any offending railroad company. However, it only applies to trains that block roads outside city limits:

192.292 Trains obstructing highways. It shall be unlawful to stop any railroad train, locomotive or car upon or across any highway or street crossing, outside of cities, or leave the same standing upon such crossing longer than 10 minutes, except in cases of accident; and any railroad company that shall violate this section shall be liable to a fine of not more than $500 or any officer of such company responsible for the violation shall be liable to imprisonment of not more than 15 days.


I don't know how often, if ever, it's been invoked, though.

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Postby MPMay » Thu May 17, 2007 11:29 pm

I heard about this on the radio as I was driving in this morning.

I would urge anybody who was obstructed by this train to file a written complaint with the police department. Specify the time, place and how long you were held up. We will pursue fines against the railroad if we can prove a violation of the ordinance. A big problem with these acts is that few people ever file a complaint. A sufficient number of citizen complaints will be very helpful in pursuing a prosecution of the RR.

Another big problem is the defense of "it was out of our control". We can see if the RR can prove that IF we get some complaints to prosecute.

Of course, for a large RR company, another problem is the relatively small fine. Still, if we had 100 citizen complaints at a potential of, say, $200 each, maybe we'd get WSOR's attention.

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Postby Potatoes » Fri May 18, 2007 10:39 am

MPMay wrote:...file a written complaint with the police department....


Thanks for the suggestion. Are you referring to getting a Self-Report Form and filling that out? While a puny fine at best, it's better than just taking it up the ass from the railroad.

Although the May 17 block was outside the norm, contrary to what some think, the frequency and economic damage are not exaggerated. Also, I crunched those numbers that the railroad employee suggested and the May 17 delay beats it by a long shot.

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Postby Peanutbutter » Fri May 18, 2007 1:26 pm

All you whiners need to shut your brat holes.

Madison had tracks and trains long before any of you idiots moved to this great city. If you don't want to deal with the unexpected adventures that come with living in a metropolitan area then move back to Bumblefuck, IA.

jjoyce
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Postby jjoyce » Fri May 18, 2007 1:28 pm

Peanutbutter wrote:Bumblefuck, IA.


I've been to that town in Iowa, and I'm here to report it's crawling with railroad tracks. You can't get from A to B without stopping three or four times.

And the whistles?

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Postby The Center Square » Fri May 18, 2007 1:49 pm

I actually like it when I get cut-off from the trains by the Yahara nowadays.
Shit, everyone is in such a god damned gotta-go mode, those things actually remind me of when I lived in Bumblefuck IL (not IA) and things moved a little slower. Trains force me to stop dead on the traffic intestines of the Isthmus, and give me a little time that I have no control over. Sort of like a free Kindergarten Time-out. Yea, they've made me late getting back to work, shut down my 'gotta get home NOW ' mentality on occasion, etc... But hell, relax and check out the train itself if you are lucky enough to be close enough to check out what's on/or in the cars, and read a little of the graffiti along the way. Just enjoy the break. Just a little. A friggin' train made you late; it's a freebie excuse. Sweet.
You can't do shit til you see that last car coming. Relax.
...and I for one like rolling down the window, enjoying the Summer air, listening to that nice metal scronk of the wheels, and getting a little free 'me' time while I'm waiting for that last car.

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Postby Henry Vilas » Fri May 18, 2007 2:27 pm

Link to get the MPD self-report form here.


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