Oak Park and River Forest trustees have serious concerns, although different, regarding Union Pacific (UP) railroad operations affecting both villages’ residents.

On June 4, in my 3-minute public comments before OP trustees, I outlined 13 years of 45 Illinois crash reports involving 7 of 14 of UP’s overpasses in OP. Ridgeland had 27 truck hits with Oak Park Avenue posting 12. Viaduct heights vary from 11 feet 7 inches to Harlem’s 14 feet, which recently changed from 14 feet 10 inches.

On June 6, a Wednesday Journal headline read, “RF threatens railroad to clean up its act,” which involved local laws governing garbage and debris maintenance, noise and property upkeep. Failure to comply could result in legal action. RF could hold the railroad liable for track cleanup.

RF President Cathy Adduci commented, “It’s been years and we still have walls crumbling. It’s like we’re in some other country; it’s crazy.”

According to the WJ article, “Railroad officials have agreed to sit down with RF residents.” 

Why not invite UP’s CEO to address both communities’ questions? Also, ask Forest Park neighbors to join us.

We need prevention measures. What can be done? Any suggestions? Have all of these truck collisions compromised the viaducts? Are the crumbling walls that hold up the viaducts safe?

Other WJ pieces re Union Pacific:

Toxic tanker cars pose a threat to OP and RF: May 7, 2014

We need answers … and citizen response: Oct. 1, 2014

A troubling mystery: March 4, 2015 

Barbara Mullarkey

Oak Park Environmental Network (OPEN) 

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