2018-08-08 / News

Report Blocked Railroad Crossings

Those frustrated by stopped trains blocking one or both of the railroad crossings in Archbold can take action.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has a page on its website where private citizens can post a report about blocked crossings, and submit photos.

The reporting form can be found at www.puco.ohio.gov/ puco-forms/report-blockedcrossings to- federal- railroad administration.

Duration

One question asks for the duration of the blockage in minutes.

Matt Schilling, spokesman for the PUCO, said obviously, a motorist cannot sit and watch a train for hours.

He recommends listing whatever you can. If you are delayed for 10 minutes, put 10 minutes on the form.

A section asks about the impact of the blockage to the community. Delayed motorists can note that the train was there when they arrived, and still there when they drove away to find an alternate route.

Schilling said PUCO does not have authority to deal with blocked crossings; they are the responsibility of the Federal Railroad Administration.

PUCO is collecting blocked crossing reports for the FRA. Information submitted via the PUCO form is reported to the FRA.

The FRA website, railroads. dot.gov, has a link to a blocked crossing reporting form, but on Tuesday morning, Aug. 7, the link was not working.

Police Post

Leo Wixom III, Archbold police chief, posted a message on the department Facebook page on Wednesday, Aug. 1.

“We have been looking into the issue of the railroad crossings being blocked within the village,” it said.

“I, as well as the mayor, have been approached by several residents asking what can be done.

“We are working on several different options, but here is a link provided by the State of Ohio to report the blocked crossings to the Federal Railroad Administration.

“When clicking on the link you will be asked the date and duration of the blocked crossing. The site also provides a map and you can drop a pin on the exact location. If you snap a picture of the blocked crossing you can attach it as well. Hopefully your voices can be heard.”

Wixom told this newspaper, “I have been doing a lot of research (on blocked crossings) because I feel it is a safety issue to the community.

“Since it’s all in its infancy, I don’t feel it’s right to say what those options are, because if none of them work out, then I get the questions about, ‘Why didn’t they work out?’

“So, I will let you know if and when a plan is in place.”

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