Visduh

Del Mar train-track crossers being ticketed

Yep, I know why. When plans for the Coaster were being finalized, it was obvious that those commuter trains would have a major impact on usage of the station. The biggest deal was the need for more parking. Del Mar rather liked its train connection to the big city, i.e. LA, but didn't cotton to the notion of providing a place for the neighbors in Solana Beach and Cardiff to park while they went to work. So, Del Mar wanted to keep the station for Amtrak, but wanted nothing to do with the Coaster. NCTD and Amtrak both said that it was all or nothing. And so the station serving that part of the coast was moved to Solana Beach. As to why that station building sits unused after all these years is a mystery. I've read about proposals to turn it into a restaurant, or maybe a gallery, or . . . but nothing has happened. The station was built in 1910, and although it looks more modern that that vintage, is now one of few original rail stations in the county that is in its location on the tracks. Sad that it isn't serving some purpose. Many years ago--true story--one Susan Golding who was involved in a new newspaper in Del Mar, the News-Press I think, was complaining to me. Yeah, I knew her back almost forty years ago, and she described being hassled by a meter monitor in Del Mar. Seems that was before Susan began her political career that took her to San Diego City Hall, and then to oblivion. The more things change, the more they remain the same.
— September 9, 2016 8:31 p.m.

Del Mar train-track crossers being ticketed

The line is busy and the trains are killing many people who, for whatever reasons, can't stay off the tracks. So, there's an enforcement crackdown aimed at those who walk across the rails on their way to the beach, and now the privileged set in Del Mar is asking the cops to cool it. Del Mar has, for many good reasons, always loathed the railroad on the bluffs. That location isn't a good one for the tracks, but they date from the 1880's, and there's nobody around to blame for lack of foresightedness. Del Mar has been hoping that the rails would be relocated inland, probably in a tunnel that more-or-less parallels I-5. But that sort of undertaking would cost $ billions, and no railroad in the US is starting anything like that nowadays. So, why doesn't affluent Del Mar have a couple safe pedestrian crossings of the tracks? One reason is that by putting them in place, the city would have conceded that the rail line is there to stay. That is not something that Del Martians want to do, and so they trespass on the right-of-way, place themselves in great danger in so doing, and now complain that the NCTD is trying to keep them from harming themselves. Try to have things both ways, and you end up with nothing. As far as chaining a group of people to the tracks in an attempt to block the trains, there are some federal laws that strongly prohibit such things. Prior to pulling any stunt like that, the would-be participants might want to consult with a criminal defense attorney. Final comment: With my actual, although limited, experience with railroading, I can say that foolish activities, or carelessness, or heedlessness on and around the rails can be lethal. Even small mistakes can be devastating because the trains are unforgiving.
— September 9, 2016 5:24 p.m.

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