WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — After the Wichita Falls City Council approved new fines for pedestrians crossing train tracks in June, a community action group is calling for a more permanent fix to address safety issues at the 7th Street railroad crossing.
“At this time we don’t have an alternative crossing for them,” WeCAN Organization Public Relations Director Deborah Bacashihua said. “So to impose a $500 fine on homeless, indigent people, we think is not the right step to take.”
And pedestrians aren’t the only ones having issues.
“We have about ten routes on the east side and our Meals On Wheels drivers have also given up on 7th St. and they just start rerouting. Where we find difficulty is when our substitutes come in and they take a route and it’s their very first time and GPS says to go down 7th St., and they end up there and realize they’re not getting across and it takes significant time away from their lunch to deliver those meals,” Meals On Wheels Director of Marketing and Development Pam Hughes said.
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, members of the Wichita County Community Action Network, also known as WeCAN, went before city leaders to provide two possible solutions.
“One is a pedestrian crossing over 7th St., so folks who need to get across who are walking can get across even if the railroad tracks are blocked,” Member of the WeCAN organization David Barbosa said. “The other solution is a comprehensive bridge on 7th St. because there are less buildings and barriers there.”
The WeCAN organization hopes to see the necessary changes come to this popular railroad crossing, and with their goal of identifying common issues across the community, their next task involves amping up the Texas Ramp Project here in Wichita Falls.
Wichita Falls Mayor Wichita falls Mayor Stephen Santellana said that from here the council will wait for future funding opportunities to address this railroad crossing.