Some proponents of relocating White Rock’s train tracks inland are using safety as a pretext

LETTERS: Conflict over rail-line opposition

Letter writers address rail safety and how the issue is being cited by those who want to relocate the train tracks inland.

Editor:

There is a constituency in South Surrey/White Rock that for years has been using the danger to pedestrians from trains along the White Rock waterfront as an argument to get the tracks removed.

Well, at the risk of sounding trite, I have to say the chickens have come home to roost.

The BNSF has been blamed for numerous deaths over the years, and since the cost of removal would be very, very expensive, the company decided to install fences.

There is now little or no risk to pedestrians. The above-mentioned constituency should be happy now. Right?

Don Crowe, Surrey

• • •

I went to the White Rock anti-fence rally Friday. The meeting was hijacked by people protesting other things.

I want access to the beach; I don’t want train horns at 4:17 a.m. I don’t care that there are hazardous chemicals in tanker cars. That’s the fault of the pipeline protesters.

One more coal train a day is not going to have any impact on my life. And I don’t care that it is adding to climate change in China. I’m a denier.

Moving the trains to somewhere else is a non-starter. If you didn’t like trains, why did you move here?

How do we stop fences from going up along the rail line, and how can we get access to the beach?

You cannot legislate the stupidity out of people.

Do you really think painting a big sign on the road is needed to prevent people from stopping on the tracks? Who in his right mind stops on the tracks anyway?

Here’s my solution. Put gates with flashing lights at every crossing. Costly to put up, peanuts to maintain.

When there are no trains, give people five seconds to cross the tracks. If they loiter on the tracks, fine them big time. Put signs everywhere that you have five seconds to cross the tracks, then it’s a $10,000 fine. If you cross the tracks with earbuds in your ears, $10,000 fine. Taking pictures on the tracks, $10,000 fine.

Give citizens a commission for tattling on one another. It will give many retirees in White Rock a second income.

John Bootsma, White Rock

• • •

So, let me get this straight…

First, city council decides to close off the tunnels to the beach so they can put in pay parking and get more revenue; then, they ignore the correspondence from Transport Canada about putting in proper pedestrian crossings so we can all safely access the beach; then, the mayor gets enraged over an issue that he was well aware of, basically saying that he didn’t want to pay for this.

It is not a matter of moving the trains inland; it is a matter of doing what is a present safety issue.

It was White Rock’s council who put up the gates, who ignored the real issue. And it is they who must answer to this – not Transport Canada, as White Rock politicians are trying to blame. The signs I saw posted by the city seem to border on the libelous – which is probably why they rushed to change them.

White Rock councils seem to have a history of blaming others for their lax attitudes. Take, for instance, the closing of beaches in the 1990s due to sewage contamination. This was not caused by doggie-doo or seagull droppings or even Blaine, Wash., as council claimed, but the actual failed sewage system of White Rock. This went on for years, until they finally fixed it.

How dare people jeopardize our safety while playing a political game.

Jo-Ann Leskun, Langley

 

 

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