I have lived in Claremore for all of my 71 years. I lived within three blocks of the tracks and never lost a night’s sleep because of the trains. The trains are a fact of life and people need to get a grip.
When you move to a city with two tracks, you’re going to have to hear them and wait on them. Wanting to change these facts is akin to building a home at the end of an airport runway, then griping because of the noise and planes landing over your head.
The closing of some of our railroad crossings haven’t been made with common sense. Seventh Street should have remained opened, because it is a nice wide street stretching from J. M. Davis to Seminole and had crossing gates. Closing Sixth Street would have made more sense at the time, but now the money spent on the raised traffic barriers will be wasted. Another mistake that I witness on a regular basis was the closing of Chackasaw and Choctaw and making a new crossing at Florence. No provision was made for the traffic on Hwy. 88 to wait for the train. You’re stuck sitting on the highway and I’m surprised that no serious accidents have resulted. Also, an overpass at Blue Starr Drive over both tracks would put that idea to rest. It could be done. We don’t need to pay for any more studies!
I also want to weigh in on the proposed new route to Verdigris. That’s all we need is another winding road to maintain when we can’t keep our current ones free of potholes. If drivers don’t want to go through town, they can turn at the light at Southaven, go to King Road and out to the highway, to an established stoplight. Nothing should be done until the widening of Hwy. 20 is a done deal.
Some of the energies of the city would be better focused on getting our traffic signals synchronized so that traffic would flow better. Get the left turn signals fixed so that they aren’t activated when no one is there. Get our potholes fixed and restripe the lanes. I know it is probably the state highway department that is responsible for the striping at Hwy. 66 and J. M. Davis, but you need to get on their case about getting that done. It is confusing to out-of-towners (and some locals) even when the striping is in good shape. Patti Page is a nightmare.
We have a great city with a bustling downtown. Many cities would love to have what we have. Let’s don't mess it up with a lot of big ideas. We are a small town and people live here because of it.
Mr. and Mrs. Tom Egbert