City council discusses train ordinance - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

City council discusses train ordinance

The ringing bells, the red and white arms... telling drivers they'll be stopped for what can feel like an eternity.

Memphis City Council members were derailed... when they asked about local laws attempting to limit train traffic tie-ups.

A city ordinance says trains are not allowed to block traffic for more than five minutes unless they're moving - but city attorneys told council there's no way enforce that law, because only the Federal Government can oversee railroads."

Members of the public works committee debated whether to get rid of the ordinance.

City public works committee chair E.C. Jones says, "-I can sympathize, I hate it, I sit out there and wait for long periods of time for crossing of the train, but if we don't have any authority over it then we don't need to be involved."

City councilwoman Barbara Swearengen Holt says, "I'm not sure I want to arbitrarily eliminate it until we can do something else."

Council members asked city attorneys to see how other cities are dealing with the same problem... and report back in two months.

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