There's an old saying when it comes to the relationship between the railroad and traffic.
- 50th Street between Adamo Drive, I-4 is problem area
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Our roads cross their tracks, not the other way around -- meaning the railroad was here before the traffic and somehow that gives them right of way.
John Cunningham drives 50th Street between Adamo Drive and Interstate 4 every day and is stopped frequently by the trains. Last week, he found his breaking point.
"They actually cleared the crossing, so the locomotive and everything was passed," he said. "And that's when they should stop, open the gates, let all the traffic that's backed up to I-4 and all the way to Adamo Drive, get all that clear and then maybe take another session, but they just operate with just zero regard."
It seems as though the obvious question for Cunningham would be: If it's backed up here, can't you go another way?
"And if I was to try to go around, I'd go up Adamo Drive to 34th Street, come down 7th Avenue, and I'd find the traffic backed up to there," Cunningham said. "So you'd just sit there and wait for the same period of time, because once it's stopped here, it's backed up past 7th Avenue in no time."
It is clear there is not a good time to block 50th Street. It is also clear the trains have a job to do, one that is essential to commerce in Tampa Bay.
"What I would suggest is that they simply just get some awareness of what's happening at the crossing," Cunningham said. "Because like I said, when they actually clear the area and they still don't raise the gates, that is either just with disregard or unaware of what's going on."
Bay News 9 Real Time Traffic Expert Chuck Henson has reached out to both the city of Tampa and CSX to see if there is a solution, a way for CSX to better communicate their schedule to area businesses.
Check back for updates.