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‘We’ve got a safety issue’: illegal rail crossing a growing concern in Ward 5

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WATCH ABOVE: Access across railway lines the biggest complaint fielded by a Saskatoon city councillor – Aug 30, 2019

Saskatoon’s North Industrial area is one of the biggest employers in the city, but a problem for many of the thousands who work there is the lack of pedestrian access along Warman Road between 33rd and 51st streets.

“We’re talking about becoming a more pedestrian city, but there’s major employment area across the street from a major industrial area. We don’t have connectivity there and we need to fix that,” said Ward 5 Coun. Randy Donauer on Friday.

READ MORE: Decision to move Ring Road rail crossing could be on its way

Until a legal crossing is built, people are left with few options other than to illegally cross the railway tracks.

A ground path that runs across the tracks seems to be the most viable option. However, constituents in the city’s north end are getting tired of waiting.

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“It’s becoming a bigger issue and I’ll be honest with you, people are getting frustrated because it’s something I’ve been talking about for two, three, four years now,” Donauer added.

“What we’re finding is we still haven’t seen any progress. Finally, I get a report and they’re saying that we could still be a couple of years away before we finish it off.”

READ MORE: 2 short rail lines in Saskatchewan slated for upgrades

According to the Saskatoon Police Service, there have been three incidents involving pedestrians and trains over the last eight years.

However, Donauer said the risk is ongoing.

“We’ve got a safety issue and it seems to be taking us multiple years to address it,” Donauer said.

“What we’re trying to avoid is someone getting hurt or killed.”