Commissioner Walter Deleon (5C-02) sent this letter to CSX and the District Department of Transportation regarding the unsafe and filthy conditions near tracks in Woodridge.
MS. Ellen M. Fitzsimmons
CSX Transportation Inc.
500 Water Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
On behalf of the residents of Woodridge South, I am writing to express my concerns over an unprotected portion of CSX-owned railtrack that cuts through my Single Member District, in the cul-de-sac at the end of the 2600th block of Evarts St. NE.
Despite years of complaints, CSX has not remedied the unprotected area, which allows for easy access to the track. In fact, on Tuesday, February 17th, I was able to walk towards the track from Evarts St. and hop on a moving CSX train. In addition to getting on top of a hicube boxcar, I was able to cross onto the other side of Evarts St. upon getting off the train. The fact that I, or any other person can easily make their way to railtrack that is used by CSX, MARC, and Amtrak is especially concerning.
CSX, which operates and maintains the tracks, handled over 375,000 carloads of freight on the District’s rail network much of which goes through the rails in Woodridge DC. Much of the material transported in this area is considered too dangerous to be transported in the CSX-owned tracks south of the National Mall and US Capitol.
In this vein, I’d like to see CSX and DDOT commit to work with the District of Columbia government and area residents to improve the safety and general cleanliness around rail tracks. Please consider the following for the Evarts Street cul-de-sac:
- Design a safe crossing connecting the split portion of Evarts St. by providing a pedestrian-safe surface and by placing a grade crossing signal and other safety measures.
- Fully enclose the rail track splitting Evarts Street.
CSX Transportation considers safety issues like this one a “Railroad Emergency,” yet it has not treated the this like one. CSX has allowed a ceaseless stream of trespassers, potential vandals, and has literally kept the door open, which potentially could allow for a blocked track if not addressed. Please take a look at the photos attached in this letter.
I hope that CSX and DDot can commit to fixing this issue before any grave incident or loss of life occurs.
Commissioner, Single Member District 5C02
CC: Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh.