Wichita Falls City Council approves changes to laws regarding 7th Street railroad tracks, plus drivers and bicyclists sharing the road

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Wichita Falls City Council at the June 18 meeting.

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) It’s been a problem for years and many people have done it; but now, the City of Wichita Falls is putting measures in place, discouraging citizens from potentially getting hurt or worse.

Today, city council set rules in places, making it illegal for people to walk across the train tracks at 7th Street illegal, but only while train equipment is parked or in motion.

The new ordinance also states a person cannot crawl under, jump off or crawl between any railroad equipment, parked or moving. Those caught are subject up to a $500 fine.

“We Can”, a group dedicated to positive change, is working on getting a permanent solution from the railroad and the city put in place.

“Hopefully, we’ll come to a resolution where the train will either close that down and put a safe pedestrian crossing there or we will make another overpass,” “We Can” member Deborah Bacashihua said. “Those are the proposals being made to the city right now.”

Though she voted in favor, Councilor DeAndra Chenault raised concerned about the homeless population being fined if caught crossing.

Mayor Stephen Santellana and Wichita Falls City Manager Darron Leiker said police would use discretion in ticketing anyone.

Also at city council, several changes were made to laws regarding drivers and bicyclists sharing the roads. Some of those changes for bikers include using a bike lane if there’s one marked on the road or using a marked bike path if one is near a street.

As far as drivers go, they would need to slow down to 20 miles per hour when going around a bicycle or motorcycle user or change lanes when there’s more than one lane. Drivers caught endangering a vulnerable road user could face a Class C misdemeanor, up to $500 fine.
The law also prohibits drivers throwing things at a vulnerable road user.

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