Power of the people comes through

After what seems like an eon of complaints, problems and
frustrations over the bumpy railroad track crossing at Highway 25
near the San Benito/Santa Clara county line, the troublesome tracks
will finally see much-needed repairs this spring
– ending a major nuisance and traffic hazard suffered by the
people of both counties.
After what seems like an eon of complaints, problems and frustrations over the bumpy railroad track crossing at Highway 25 near the San Benito/Santa Clara county line, the troublesome tracks will finally see much-needed repairs this spring – ending a major nuisance and traffic hazard suffered by the people of both counties.

Few among us can say they haven’t rattled their brains, much less their car’s suspension, when driving over the notorious tracks.

But it will soon be only an unpleasant memory, thanks to an order by the California Public Utilities Commission that will force Union Pacific Railroad to fix the tracks by May 17.

That’s welcome news for the many commuters who flinch every time their vehicle bounces over the uneven crossing, and an order to make the repairs couldn’t have come soon enough. And hail to the Hollister Free Lance readers who have complained about the problem for almost a year in our Red Phone column published every Saturday.

In January, the Red Phone began printing UP Public Relations Director John Bromley’s cell phone number suggesting readers call UP and demand that the crossing be fixed. The effort, thanks to the many readers who called, appears to have worked. Bromley said the order to repair the tracks was largely due to residents’ complaints sent to both the CPUC and UP.

It’s good to see the CPUC recognize the aggravation and potential dangers the tracks posed to local residents who had developed the habit of slowing down on the 55 mph highway to ease their vehicles over the bumps, and it’s refreshing that UP has said they will readily comply with the order.

We’re certainly glad it didn’t take a tragedy – or an Act of Congress – to force the necessary repairs on the highway heavily used by county residents.

Hopefully, the repairs UP makes will be a long-term solution to a long-standing problem faced by motorists, and the crossing will not deteriorate to its current state in only a few years.

UP shouldn’t cut corners or expense on repairing the crossing. Motorists have suffered enough headaches over this and deserve a permanent fix.

Regardless of what destroyed the current crossing, the people paying the price were residents who put unnecessary wear and tear on their vehicles by simply driving on the highway.

There’s power when people organize to serve the greater good, and though fixing the bumpy tracks is a small victory in the larger scheme of life, it is a well-deserved victory nonetheless.

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