In an attempt to fix many of the 21 railroad crossings in the city, La Mirada officials have thrown their support behind Assembly Bill 3627, which was introduced recently by a San Diego County lawmaker. The bill establishes a way cities and railroads can agree on whether a crossing should be repaired and who should pay for the work.
La Mirada officials complain that both the Southern Pacific Railroad and Santa Fe Railway have ignored their requests to patch or replace crumbling crossings in the city. Frustrated council members say it is easy for the railroads to put off cities because there are no regulations regarding rail crossing maintenance or repairs. Thirteen La Mirada crossings are in bad condition, with five considered critical, according to Mayor Lou Piltz.
The bill by Assemblyman Bill Bradley, R-San Marcos, would require a railroad company to respond to a city complaint about a crossing within 15 days. If the two sides are unable to agree on the condition of the rail crossing, the issue would then go to an arbitrator to decide whether repairs are needed, who pays for it and when the work will be done. Besides La Mirada, the bill has been supported by the cities of Pico Rivera and Santa Fe Springs. The measure is currently before the Assembly's Utilities and Commerce Committee.