Re: Mesh fence hoped to deter trespassing, Dec. 4.
Does White Rock have any say regarding what is happening to our beach access?
Reality – trains and people share the waterfront in White Rock.
Current situation – one person died and one person was hit by a train. A terrible tragedy for the families and the community.
Knee-jerk reaction – put up fences, close off access to the railroad tracks.
BNSF, the federal rail safety board and the City of White Rock need to have discussions like grownups and come up with solutions that make sense.
We cannot protect people from themselves. If someone steps in front of a car, a bus, a SkyTrain or a BNSF train, there is not much we can do.
My day-to-day job is not train safety. I am a lay person with an opinion, based primarily upon common sense.
I access the beach four or five times a week on West Beach. We are only going to have two access points: one at the pier and one at Bay Street. They are a full kilometre apart. That does not sound like common sense.
By the way, the first knee-jerk reaction was closing the three or four pedestrian crossings along West Beach. There has never been an accident or an incident at any of those crossings.
Fences are an eyesore. They are costly. They are not necessary and they are not wanted.
The two people who were hit entered the tracks at crossings or areas that will not be closed off. Why are we closing off areas that are not the cause of the problem?
The fencing is being put up to aggravate the community and allow corporations to pat themselves on the back. It is not truly for safety reasons.
The areas they are protecting us from crossing are not dangerous. No one has ever been hit there.
According to www.operationlifesaver.ca, there are about 50 fatalities per year. If there is any way to reduce the number of fatalities, let’s invest appropriately.
However, a fence blocking our access to the beach in White Rock will not affect that number. A fence is not spending money using common sense.
Please re-evaluate the approach to rail safety in White Rock by taking into account all of the stakeholders’ needs. Knee-jerk reactions will not fix problems.
David McNamara, White Rock