"Wing of the Democratic Party made up of workingmen and reformers, opposed to monopolies and financial policies that seemed to them antidemocratic and conducive to special privilege. The Locofocos received their name when party regulars turned off the gas lights to oust the radicals from a Tammany Hall nominating meeting. The radicals responded by lighting candles with new matches known as locofocos and nominated their own slate." (From: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9048706 )

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I am husband and father in a family of four, wife Verna, son Thomas, and daughter Jennifer. We've lived in Springfield's 137th District for over ten years at 800 W Calhoun St, and love the Grant Beach area. I was born to a military family, my mother and father met at Ft Leonard Wood. I was born in Ft Hood Texas, and travelled throughout my childhood, with most of my time spent in any one place in the Rolla Mo area. When I completed my own four year hitch with the US Navy, I settled here in Missouri, living in Mt Vernon. I moved into Springfield in 1994 to attend (then) SMSU and stayed, finding our permanent home in the Grant Beach Park area.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Let's Talk Safety...

City Manager Tom Finnie cites safety as the primary concern in asking for the closure of Broadway Av. He asks the City Council to act now to prevent a future tragedy at that crossing. Local residents also want City Council to act now to prevent a future tragedy.

Closure of Broadway will further restrict vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic. These travelers will be forced to other railway crossings to the east or west. The closest to the west is Kansas Expressway, already very busy with vehicular traffic and hazardous to pedestrian and cyclists. The first and closest crossing is Grant Av to the east. The underpass is in deplorable shape, and no longer suited to the needs of the public. Built in 1926, it now exhibits signs of stress fatigue in cracked concrete, exposed rebar, and shows multiple scars from low clearance accidents. The crossings at Lyon and Washington are even worse. Lyon has wood trestles with plywood splints on cracked beams. Washington has several water seeps that are eroding the structure from the inside out.

Despite these obvious faults, the railroad has no intention replacing or improving these crossings. They intend to load more traffic on these structures, adding a third set of tracks to replace the tracks to be vacated for the Third Phase of the Jordan Valley project.

City negotiators are handling the Broadway closure as a separate issue from the Jordan Valley project. It’s not. It’s just easier to overcome local resistance to the closing by keeping it separate. Separating local businesses uprooted by the Jordan Valley project and local residents is a classic use of “divide and conquer” strategy.

Many local residents suspect that Broadway is being used as a bargaining chip for the West Yard vacation. The only sop to the residents is a paltry $65,000 spread over seven years for “beautification” of the underpasses. To think that $65,000 will cure the ills of these underpasses is an insult to the intelligence, and viewed as a low-ball bribe by many in the neighborhood groups. If the railroad and Tom Finnie were truly concerned with safety, they would be negotiating improvements to the underpasses before loading more train traffic on them.

Once the West Yard is vacated, these improvements will be even more costly and difficult. Make no mistake, they will need to be done some time in the future. Better to do it now, while the railway has the other yard to make up trains during renovations.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enhance your credibility. Learn how to spell the man's name. It's Finnie, not Finney.

8:12 PM  
Blogger LocoFocoRampant said...

Thank you for the correction.

8:32 PM  

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