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Council: trains holding up traffic

The city of Linden is divided in certain areas by the railroad tracks, which has caused more than a few problems lately. From time to time the train stops which causes a complete halt in traffic on many streets. Many people have expressed concern about how quickly emergency vehicles could reach areas if the train was blocking the street. At Tuesday nights council meeting the city addressed this issue.

Linden Police Chief Jeff Laduron said he had discussed the problem with the train operators and they would try to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

“We talked to one of the supervisors out there and he said the problem was they had some new people with CSX,” Laduron. said “They were aware they had two streets blocked and we told them about the emergency part of it. If we have fire trucks on one side of it they can’t get to a fire on the other side.”

Laduran said he also explained the train was cutting the city in half closing access almost the entire southern half of Linden.

“Half of the city is on the other side of it,” Laduron said. “We explained it to them and they said they will do better. I went by there today and it was a whole lot better.

Linden City Councilman Butch King said the blockage also annoys drivers on their afternoon commute.

“The train is holding up traffic in the afternoon for people that are trying to go home,” King said. “I was there yesterday and it held up traffic for at least 29 minutes. There were some really mad folks.”

CSX said it was merely a matter of getting their routine down.

The council also discussed getting rid of some surplus equipment. They received multiple bids on equipment including a John Deere backhoe, a 1991 Chevrolet one-ton pickup and a Crown Victoria car, however the bids were far lower than what had been expected. Because the bids were so much lower than their hoped draw the council declined the bids and voted to seek other measures.

In the absence of Mayor Pat Vice Councilman Ivan Allday has stepped in to fill the duties of mayor. Allday took a moment at the end of the meeting to thank everyone for helping him in this difficult situation.

“I want to personally commend all the city employees,” Allday said. “They have done a tremendous job while the mayor has been out of pocket. They have all worked real well with me and I try to work well with them. I would just like to commend every one of them.”

The council will next meet on Tuesday Feb. 1 at 6 p.m.