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The 'Good Neighbor' Proposal

August 06, 1987

Here is the seven-point request the United Neighborhoods Organization presented to Southern Pacific Transportation Co., and comments on it from a railroad official.

UNO's Seven-Point Plan

Conduct a formal performance audit over the next 60 days and develop a list of recommendations to correct problems occurring in Los Angeles County, and report these to us in an October meeting.

Keep records on train stoppages in Los Angeles County, e.g. length of time, whether train was broken, etc.--a practice you do not currently do.

Develop ways to break and recouple trains more quickly.

Explore cooperation with Sheriff's Department and local police departments to assist the railroad during stoppages in order to guarantee public safety and traffic control.

Settle legal responsibilities related to train blockage violations and avoid all unnecessary court delays.

Develop a comprehensive coordination strategy with Santa Fe Railroad.

Add trains to schedule in order to reduce excessively long trains that block our streets.

Southern Pacific's Response

Lila Cox, a Southern Pacific lawyer, said in an interview after the meeting that the railroad has complied or is in the process of complying with many of the points made by the community activist group.

She said the company already keeps extensive records of train movements, has met with local and Sheriff's Department officials to improve public safety during stoppages, has met with officials of the Santa Fe Railroad and is proceeding with its court obligations.

She said the breaking and recoupling of trains is governed by federal regulations and that adding trains to the schedule would intensify the problem because it would double the train traffic.

The railroad company's complaint, she said, is that Southern Pacific was not asked to participate in the drafting of UNO's plan. "It was not an agreement, but a unilateral document we've been asked to sign," Cox said.

Instead, railroad officials agreed to enter "a dialogue" on the seven points, with the intent to draft a list of recommendations to help reduce stoppages and to work with local law enforcement officials to improve public safety during stoppages.

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