Train Time: Does Kalamazoo Have A Train Problem?
Kalamazoo doesn't have tons of trains rolling through the city but whenever they do it seems to be a huge issue. Now, to preface, I am not speaking of passenger trains as they quickly come through the city or make their stop downtown and go about their day. It's the cargo trains that take their sweet time.
Downtown is already a mess to drive through and with the changes to traffic lanes, it has only gotten worse. Now, imagine that one of those illustrious trains decides to roll through town, now half the city is sitting in bumper to bumper in the heart of the city. If you ask me, Kalamazoo has a train problem.
This morning (Friday, May 12th) I was stopped by a train for a solid 10-15 minutes, which isn't a big deal if it was stopped and then kept moving, but that definitely wasn't the case for this locomotive. I got stopped at the corner of Portage and Vine Streets as I watched the train come to a halt.
The train was already moving slower than molasses before it come to a complete stop. The cargo train then proceeded to sit still in this spot for about 8-10 minutes with literally no movement before finally moving again. Except, the train started moving in the direction that it came from.
This means that this train was stopping traffic from the intersection I was at all the way through downtown. That's where the problem comes in, the only way to avoid this train is to be heading east/west on the northern side of Kalamazoo Avenue, other than that every other means of travel will be stopped.
There has to be a better way for trains to travel throughout the city. Cutting off traffic through so much of the city is crazy but more importantly, the train shouldn't have to stop for an extended period of time. Here are some other good uses of trains though!