KEYSER - Two separate recent incidents in which a train sat in Keyser, blocking both entrances to the North End, ignited a conversation among the Keyser City Council again about the vulnerability of residents who live “across the tracks.”

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Two separate recent incidents in which a train sat in Keyser, blocking both entrances to the North End, ignited a conversation among the Keyser City Council again about the vulnerability of residents who live “across the tracks.”
According to council member Karol Ashenfelter, who lives in the North End and has long been an advocate for establishing an emergency evacuation route for the residential area, the first incident kept the exits blocked “an hour and 20 minutes.”
The most recent incident shut off the North End for 45 minutes, she said.
Although the City of Keyser has a Humvee specifically for accessing areas in times of emergency, Ashenfelter noted that the problem is time.
“If someone had a heart attack, by the time they got that Humvee across from McCoole, somebody’s gonna die,” she said.
Not only does the blockage create a potential hazard for residents of the North End in times of emergency, but it ties up traffic for those trying to get across the tracks into the section of town.
“There were cars backed up clear over on Route 46,” she said.
Ashenfelter said the town has an ordinance stating both exits may not be blocked off at the same time, and that CSX was in violation of that ordinance.
“I propose we write them a letter telling them we will be fining them $100 for every 15 minutes it’s blocked,” she said.
Although no official action was taken in the meeting, the council will examine the ordinance in question and decide what action would be appropriate.