Claremore Drivers Delayed 3 Hours A Day By Trains, Study Shows

Wednesday, August 26th 2015, 6:58 pm
By: News On 6

Claremore has long been tied-in-knots by trains, and a new study conducted by the city shows that delays at railroad crossings can add up to more than three hours a day.

The study says 30 to 40 trains come through Claremore every single day and many of the crossings are busy intersections.

With 18 different railroad crossings in the city, there are train tracks all over – both Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific trains run through – and drivers are bound to get stuck.

Some say it's not just an inconvenience; it's also a matter of safety.

Drivers forced to wait as trains run through the city, but it’s something those who live and work in Claremore say is part of life.

"Well, you come into town, traffic's already bad enough and then the trains come through and it's even worse," said Pryor resident, Benjamin Quick.

New findings from the City of Claremore's transportation study say from June to July, delays at railroad crossings averaged more than three hours a day.

The study also found from March to July, emergency responders were delayed nine hours while responding to calls.

Dayna Melton owns a business in downtown Claremore and said she's seen ambulances stuck at the crossings before.

“I think it can put lives in danger if ambulances, police vehicles can't get across the tracks," she said.

But Police Chief Stan Brown said there's no reason for the public to worry.

"Within a matter of minutes, we have someone we can call or reach out to back us or assist in a response," he said.

Brown said Claremore's emergency services partner with agencies all over the county, so if there is an emergency, he assures someone will be there to help.

"A train is not going to stop, it may delay, but it is not going to stop emergency responders," he said.

The City of Claremore has proposed solutions like overpasses and underpasses in years past, but voters said no because it would mean a tax hike.

The city hopes to look into those options again.