Railroads need to make rail crossings safe
The train crash last week in Elmwood Park is why bridges or underpasses need to be constructed at these crossings. Common sense tells me that trains traveling 70 mph should not be using the same surface used by cars and pedestrians.

As for NTSB Director Mark Rosenker’s effort to put all the blame on the car drivers, let me remind him of the school bus and train wreck in River Grove several years ago when the NTSB recommended that stop lights near those crossings be interconnected.

Why was that not done? Should whoever should have seen that the light held up traffic be responsible for failing to get it interconnected?

The railroads want the municipalities to pay for these improvements, but it is the railroad who should pay for them. Let me remind them that they are running 100-plus cars with minimum crews. When they first laid out the tracks, they ran 25- or 30-car trains and not as many as there are running today. They are the ones that are making the money from all these long trains, so it is the railroads that should pay for these improvements.

I again call for all of these municipalities to demand that the railroads make these crossings safe. Things that were acceptable in the 1920s do not work now. BY the way, did the NTSB check to see how fast that train was going just before it reached Elmwood Park? What was the speed it was supposed to be going? Could it have been 80 mph?

Ted Schwartz

Quit whining about Prairie Avenue trees
This letter is in response to the letter from Robert and Audrey Jakoubek (“Save the trees on Prairie Avenue,” Letters, Nov. 23) about saving the trees on Prairie Avenue. What good are having trees if the road is so bad nobody wants to drive on it?

You are getting new curbs, gutters and streets for no cost at all to you. If you lived where I live, you would have to pay between $15,000 to $20,000 over the next 20 years that you are getting for free.

There are thousands and thousands of trees in Brookfield, so please get a life and quit your whining over 30 insignificant trees, and let’s improve the streets in Brookfield. They don’t have anybody to take care of the trees anyway since they just fires four Public Works employees.

Mark A. Roegner