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NEWS RELEASE · 21st March 2013
An open letter to the City of Terrace, CN Rail, BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, MLA Robin Austin, MP Nathan Cullen and media

To Whom It May Concern:

RAfaSIE (Residents Advocating for a Sustainable Inclusive Environment) represents concerned citizens in the greater population of Terrace. The community has been patiently waiting to hear the outcome of discussion between the City of Terrace, CN Rail and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to determine the solution to our increased rail traffic problem, but response is vague and illusive.

Local train traffic has substantially increased since the opening of the port in Prince Rupert almost six years ago. Often access from the south side of Terrace to the north is cut off for extended periods of time. The repeated closure of these main access points is causing many citizens frustration as they are effectively held hostage by our transport system.

On March 8th, 2013, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the Port of Prince Rupert to mark the start of construction of the port's $90-million Road, Rail and Utility Corridor project. This will support billions in new terminal developments and boost Canada's trade capacity and exports to fast-growing Asia-Pacific markets, yet communities on route remain forgotten as level rail crossings repeatedly stall local traffic flow.

Trains cross through the center of Terrace multiple times a day, closing off transport routes to those traveling on foot, by bike, electric scooter or via motorized vehicles. With only two alternate routes this community is hugely burdened by impassable train traffic.

Our politicians who claim to be in discussion with the government and CN since the opening of the container port in September 1997 have neglected to provide accessible street corridors to the communities who are on their routes. As plans continue to expand the ports of both Kitimat and Rupert communities like Terrace remain forgotten.

It has been six years since the problem became evident in this community, when will our leaders address this issue? This community deserves to know what progress is being made to resolve this community concern. It is imperative that a solution be resolved for our community.
sorry wrong date should be 2007
Comment by Diana on 28th March 2013
Sorry just noticed a typo, port date in reference is 2007 not 1997 as written
Comment by Dave B on 25th March 2013
How about the one at Kitwanga - main highway "blocked" - part of the community cut off from the rest for everything - fire - ambulance - access to the route to hospital in Hazelton - police - school bus and the travelling public plus residents?
Agree with Mr.Ippel
Comment by Richard on 24th March 2013
First of all, I completely agree with what James has written. Why would CN care if you have to wait in the cold? Oh, thats right, they don't and why should they anyways? We do have a public transit system for those cold days that you don't want to walk and wait. What about car pooling? It is only a matter of 5 minutes to go over the Sande overpass instead of waiting at the crossing (in a vehicle).
What about the CN employees? They are also a part of our community and are benefitting greatly with all the work from the port in Prince Rupert, shouldn't we be happy that everything is getting busier and busier around here instead of complaining all the time?
I just thought of something....
Comment by Janice Robinson on 23rd March 2013
Could it be that the federal government and their corporate friends are now treating the common, middle and lower class Canadian folks just like they've been treating Canadian First Nations for two hundred years??

Feed them B.S., ignore them, herd them here and there, make education everything possible to make them disappear?

Bye-bye middle class!
Arnold is right
Comment by barryeng on 23rd March 2013
C. Arnold is right. It is very frustrating to have to sit at the southwest side of the Sande Overpass trying to get across the tracks. Yesterday I was part of a lineup that stretched for two blocks along Keith Ave. In fact the only way to get across is to make an illegal left turn in front of oncoming traffic to get into town proper. This is done so often that it is actually expected form everyone.

I realize that the city cannot afford to, and should not have to put in a new overpass, but they should be able to install proper traffic lights at the south end of the existing overpass similar to those at the north end.

This would not be a perfect solution, but it would, at least put a bandaid on a bad situation until such time as someone can convince CN, City Council, The Provincial Government and the Federal Government that this mess has to be fixed.
No Sympathy...
Comment by C. Arnold on 22nd March 2013
First the Kenney St overpass of very frequently blocked for 15 - 20+ min at a time and it is blocked multiple times a day at prime times when people walk, bike or drive to and from work. Then there are the multiple times when the rail xing arms are down, lights flashing and NO train anywhere to be seen? Then the times when the crossing is blocked by CN workers tinkering with something or other? It goes on and on when you travel that route daily. Just like Jim who walks to and from work, the grand trunk trail attracts many people who go for walks with their dogs or friends and also get stuck standing at Kenney waiting. I suppose you have no sympathy for them either?

Second the Sande overpass is a dangerous joke of engineering! There are so many close calls with the absurd uncontrolled end by NuFloors. Pedestrians take their lives in their hands due to frustrated and impatient drivers waiting to get through. If you want to avoid the mess at the end of the Sande overpass you have to drive all the way around through school zones and hosptial zone. Only those that rarely have to deal with that intersection / overpass would have no sympathy... very nice for you to not have to face daily hassles from CN blockades!

If the Kalum hill was blocked 8-10 times a day at prime times for up to 20 min at a time, all us on the south side could take the same attitude and have no sympathy, because all those bench dwellers could just stop complaining and drive around to Landfere or the Nisga'a highway access. I wonder how that would go over?
I live and work on both sides
Comment by Jim on 22nd March 2013
I work at the school board offices and live on Agar. I walk to work and back. Are you saying I should walk over the Sande Overpass?

I work at Johneys welding or Kal Tire or Neids and live in the apartments on Kenney and Walsh or the residential district of the same area, and walk to work. Again, same question.

The point is, get the flippin trains off of the level crossings pronto.Someyimes the wind is howling with bitter cold and I am expected to stand there and wait. Not a chance, I am jumpin between the trains.

Point is, only one segment of the population drives and has the option of using Sande Overpass. Seems that segment is also the arrogant pricks who don't have any compassion for the rest. CN falls into the grouping.
Correct me if!!!
Comment by James Ippel on 22nd March 2013
Over the years I was led to believe that CN Rail had an agenda to eliminate "ALL" level crossings. To date, to the best of my recollection, we have three level crossings between Prince Rupert and Prince George. #1 is at Mile 28 west of Terrace,(Bear in mind that CnRail still works in Miles/not Kilometers),#2 is at the Frank Street Crossing, and #3 is at the Kenney Street Crossing.
Years ago when I was a member of the Kitimat/Stikine advisory council we had a proposal for a second Overpass, and which would have been workable. This would have put a second overpass in the Frank Street area. It would have emcompassed part of the existing (Poirior) log yard and part of the existing West Fraser property.
I would like to close by saying that I have absolutley no sympathy for those residents who refuse to take the Sande Overpass to get to work, and would rather complain about their 1 minute delaly because they have to wait for a train, but have an alternative route. Get up 5 minutes earlier to ensure you get to work on time.
Thank you for the letter!
Comment by C. Arnold on 21st March 2013
Yes! We need more people and groups asking these questions. 6 years is too long and the problem is only getting worse and worse. CN doesn't see it as their problem, the city can't afford an overpass, there is a whole lot of $$ being made and spent but local residents are paying the price. THanks for this letter FAfaSIE! There has been more than enough time to plan and discuss, just fix the problem already!