The city of Charlottesville, Virginia (VA) is planning to build a new fence on the western side of the railroad tracks that run through the town between 14th Street and Rugby Road. The fence was first planned in 2010, and is finally going to be completed by October 2014.
The purpose of the fence is to improve public safety, particularly for University of Virginia students who often cross the train tracks on foot rather than going around the block. This has raised serious safety concerns, as there are hundreds of pedestrian railroad fatalities annually across the US.
Also, city officials state that the foot traffic along the tracks has led to decreased vegetation along the tracks, and there is a good deal of litter being left there as well.
Right now, there only are ‘no trespassing’ signs and a low, rope fence along the tracks. The police have stated that the tracks cannot be watched at all times, and even giving tickets to violators has not stopped people from walking across the tracks.
The fence will be a seven foot high, welded steel barrier. While many students do not like the idea of the fence, there is no doubt that this will lead to a safer environment for all residents of Charlottesville.