(Oneonta, New York – July 28, 2011)
Canadian Pacific Railroad officials replied negatively to the request of Oneonta, NY Mayor Dick Miller for pedestrian crossings to enable Oneonta residents to safely access an elementary school and a swimming pool complex that are on one side of a town bisected by CP Rail tracks.
There are no legal crossings of any kind along a 2.2 mile stretch of town, forcing residents who do not have automobiles – especially children – to forge pedestrian crossings without authority. At the urging of Oneonta resident and retired railroader Walt Forsythe, who related that CP Rail has controlled pedestrian crossings across its system in Canada, and hoped they might extend the same courtesy to communities on the American side of the border, the mayor contacted CP Rail. But CP’s response was not positive.
Canadian Pacific’s Manager of Community Relations Randy Marsh stated that “Grade separated crossings are the only certain way to ensure public safety.” The CP Rail official went on to say that the railroad does not support the installation of new, at grade pedestrian crossings, especially in locations where multiple tracks exist. He also claimed that the railroad is closing such crossings elsewhere in its network over safety concerns.