Blue Springs residents Diane Hart and Stormy Staten came before the Blue Springs Aldermen Tuesday night to express their concerns about County Road 253 and request that it be closed at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks.
Hart and Staten had a lot to say in regards to numerous issues regarding the road as well as the intersection of CR 253 and CR 265.
Hart said, “It is a narrow road with two dangerous curves and a dangerous hill and we want the road closed to dead end at the railroad tracks. We don’t want people going across the railroad tracks.”
Staten agreed and said, “There are school buses that go up and down our road twice a day and we don’t want the bus tires to get stuck on the tracks. And, the road is so narrow that a car and a bus cannot pass on the road without one of them having to pull over in someone’s driveway.”
Blue Springs Alderman Rita Gentry said, “It should be a safe and passable road.”
One end of CR 253 meets Highway 9 near the Blue Springs Post Office. When traveling down the road from Highway 9, there is a sharp curve that cannot be seen around, due to shrubbery and the sharpness of the curve. Before the railroad tracks, there is a dip in the road, then there are some cross ties that are slightly jagged and can possibly cause a vehicle to get stuck when crossing the tracks.
At the railroad track intersection, there is no stop sign, no crossbars, and no signal llights. After crossing the tracks, shortly down the road, there is a sharp curve again going up a steep hill. If two vehicles ended up needing to pass each other, one would have to pull over, but the problem is that there are small ditches on each side of the road, so the only safe place to pull over is in someone’s driveway. At the top of the hill, at the CR 253 and CR 265 intersection, there is no yield sign and no stop sign.
Supervisor Randy Owen said, “I will look into putting a yield sign at the intersection of CR 253 and CR 265.”
Hart and Staten said that all of these issues concern them and their neighbors and they want the road widened, correct signage put at the county roads’ intersection, correct caution signage at the railroad tracks, and preferably, the road ended at the tracks. If that happens in the future, the residents that live near the tracks would still have an outlet to get out.
Staten said, “If a bus and a truck meet on the road, they cannot pass. A car and a bus can barely pass, but it would have to be a really small car. A small car and a trcuk or an SUV can hardly pass each other either.”
Hart said that she has spoken to her supervisor Randy Owen about these issues.
Owen said, “I have contacted the railroad company about closing those tracks because I think they should close them, but it is their decision to close the tracks. I have talked to East Union school about not having any bus drivers crossing the railroad tracks at all. They can turn around in Diane’s driveway and go around on the roads without ever having to cross the tracks.”
Hart’s driveway is supposed to be a school bus turnaround so when students are dropped off in the afternoon, the bus is not having to drive over the railroad tracks, but the bus driver does not always turn around in her driveway.
Blue Springs Mayor David Boland said, “I will talk to Randy and see what he thinks. If the road is closed in the future or if the road is widened or if anything else takes place, a lot of steps have to be taken and a lot of money will have to be spent.”
Hart also said that teenagers are driving extremely too fast on these curvy roads.
Staten said, “My kids don’t have to cross the tracks and I am thankful for that because I am always scared that the bus’s tires are going to get hung up on the tracks and the bus will get stuck on the tracks and put everyone on the bus in danger.”
One of the reasons that Hart feels so strongly about having these tracks closed is because years ago, her aunt got hit by a train on the railroad tracks near Gentry’s Grocery and was killed. And, on the tracks near her house, her son Corey Dillard was in a bad accident on Oct. 29, 2008 when his car got stuck on the tracks when attempting to cross over and his car was hit. Dillard and the female passenger were badly injured, but both survived.
The next Blue Springs Aldermen meeting will take place at 6 p.m. on Oct. 4, 2011 at Blue Springs Town Hall. The public is invited to attend.