Sept. 24, 2009
Docket Number: TR-090597
OLYMPIA, Wash. – State regulators approved funds today to pay for fencing off the railroad tracks that run through a deadly stretch of Seattle’s Carkeek Park.
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) approved $14,420 in Grade Crossing Protection Funds (GCPF) for the Seattle Parks Department to install fencing along the eastside of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad tracks in Carkeek Park, located north of Seattle.
“This is one of the most dangerous stretches of tracks in the state,” said UTC Chairman Jeff Goltz. “This new fencing will help save lives by preventing people from crossing the tracks illegally.”
Over the past 16 years, there have been five fatalities in this general area. One of the most recent incidents involved a 27-year old man who was killed when he was unable to get off the railroad tracks ahead of a Chicago-bound freight train.
Seattle Parks proposes to replace 200 feet of damaged fencing and add an additional 100 feet of six-foot high chain-link fencing adjacent to the right-of-way in Carkeek Park to prevent the public from crossing the tracks.
The Legislature created the GCPF in 1969 to provide money for safety measures designed to decrease the potential for accidents and fatalities at public and private crossings and along railroad tracks in the state. The UTC administers the fund.
The UTC is the state agency responsible for railroad safety, including approving new grade crossings and closing or altering existing rail crossings. The agency investigates train accidents, inspects public-railroad crossings, approves rail-safety improvement projects and manages Operation Lifesaver, a rail-safety education program in Washington and nationwide.
Staff contact: Marilyn Meehan