The people spoke and the city listened. In the eyes of some local residents the city was being railroaded into giving in to CSX.
But, instead, the city of Marietta says it won't take up CSX on its offer to make improvements at the railroad crossing on busy Fort Harmar Drive. That's because the CSX offer also included closing the rail crossing on Harmar Street at Lord Street to motor vehicle traffic. And that rubbed residents in the Harmar neighborhood the wrong way. Why close a crossing where there's never been a safety problem, they insisted.
The Ohio Rail Development Commission considers all rail crossings as potential hazards. And having a track running down the middle of a city street, like the CSX line on Harmar Street, looks like a potential problem.
CSX can receive state funding for every crossing that's closed. CSX can then use that funding to make improvements to other locations. That's where talk of closing the Lord Street crossing apparently gained steam.
But local officials say they have had a difficult time getting CSX officials to talk about potential projects, whether it's closing a crossing, improving the Harmar Street line, or making upgrades at Fort Harmar Drive.
State Rep. Andy Thompson has tried to help get CSX to agree to making changes. But, again information from CSX appears to be scarce. We praise Thompson for his efforts on behalf of his home city.
But, closing a railroad crossing in a residential area doesn't appear to be the way those neighbors want to go. Congratulations to them for speaking up. We've said many times that your voice counts, if only you'll speak up. Here's proof, thanks to the Harmar neighbors opposed to closing Lord Street.
Meanwhile, CSX still plans to upgrade the road pavement along Harmar Street, a project that's independent of any work at Lord Street or Fort Harmar Drive. And it's back to the drawing board for the rail company when it comes to closing Lord Street.