Editor: To Banff mayor and councilors.
I am writing to you today to bring your attention to a subject that is touching the security and well being of a large number of Banff citizens that cross the CP railroad tracks on their way and coming back from work in the industrial compound area.
Lately, CP has installed new large signs regarding crossing the tracks where it identifies the area has been dangerous while threatening to take justice on any trespassers.
The installation of these signs hasn’t changed anything in the behaviour of the citizens that need to cross there on their way to work while creating undue mental pressure on them.
The people that cross there have many good reasons to to do so. For one thing, most of them are going to work or coming back from work. And there is a small bridge going over the creek just there, so it is the best place to access the industrial area by foot.
It is a fact that crossing a railroad is dengerous and so is crossing any road if you don’t pay attention. However, there isn’t one case of an accident at this crossing area since the creation of the industrial compound, even though CP did not do anything to help the security of the people crossing there.
This crossing area is not in itself a very dangerous zone, without denying there is risk associated with crossing railroad tracks. However, when you are there, you can see a minimum of 350 feet on either side before attempting to cross and you are in town, where operators do blow the train’s horn. Since it takes less than 20 seconds to go over the tracks, the risk of being hit by a train is minimized.
If CP was concerned about the security of people crossing there, they would put a danger sign that would not only say it is dangerous to cross, but would also mention to people to look on both sides before crossing while doing it carefully and rapidly.
CP could also install a warning light that would blink as soon as a train is coming to warn peole of the danger. And if they were really concerned about our security, they would do what they did in Canmore and create a real pedestrian crossing with lights, bells and fences.
So today, elected representatives of Banff citizens, I am asking you to intervene with CP, so that not only do they cease to threaten the men and women that have to go through this area to get to their jobs, but that they take measures to incrase the safety of people going through this area without negatively affecting their life.
By walking to work, these people make health, environmental and economic decisions that contribute to the well being of this town. They don’t have criminal intentions and should not be treated like criminals. They deserve to be respected and recognized for their contribution.
These citizens need to have a voice that speaks on their behalf and you should be that voice, as well as Parks Canada representatives.