CSX negotiates Robinson Avenue crossing with Bowling Green

Published: Apr. 13, 2017 at 5:57 PM CDT
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Since Spring of 2016, the city of Bowling Green and CSX Transportation have been in a battle over Robinson Avenue's railroad crossing on whether to keep it open or to close it to traffic.

On March 27, 2017, CSX Transportation told the city of Bowling Green that they're ready to negotiate, according to Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson.

"The attorneys for both the city and CSX have been in negotiations and CSX has offered to allow the agreement that we had signed earlier to close Robinson Avenue to do away with that agreement, in exchange for a couple of things," Mayor Wilkerson mentioned.

In the proposed settlement, CSX proposed that Bowling Green would not cite CSXT for blocking any crossing within the city of Bowling Green corporate limits.

Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge Kelly Thompson, who has fought CSX since the beginning of closure discussion, says as long as Robinson Avenue doesn't close, he's content.

"I hope that the city will adopt this plan and keep Robinson Avenue open. Federal law says they can park their trains to block an intersection if it's part of normal train business. If an engineer wanted to stop and go eat supper, that's not part of normal business, and we could sue the engineer under state law. We have a state law that says they can't block it for ten minutes, but that law is also preempted by the federal law which says they can do it for normal general business of the railroad," Judge Thompson stated.

But Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson says this proposal needs to be seen by the public before any action takes place.

"The thing they're most interested in is being held accountable for blocking the crossing. What we wanted to do was to take this offer from CSX to the people in the neighborhood, and see whether or not they're compatible with us going ahead with that. And if so, we will go ahead and take a look at it and move forward."

Attempting to negotiate over a local crossing.

For anyone interested in getting to know more about the proposed settlement from CSX, a public meeting will be held at Daymar College in Bowling Green on April 17 at 6:30 pm.