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New Light Rail Line Security Fences Being Breached

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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Investigator Rick Sallinger

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Regional Transportation District’s new west light rail line begins service Friday, but not without a safety concern.

The line goes through a lot of residential areas and security fencing is meant to keep people off the tracks, but already people are climbing through them.

Students at three nearby schools have been shown videos and given assemblies for lessons on why they shouldn’t climb the fences and cross the tracks, but it’s happening anyway.

Miles of track are lined with what’s called post and cable fence. It’s easy to climb right through.

Kathy Hughes lives nearby.

“I find myself listening to the train go by and pausing for a moment to wait to see if I hear screaming,” Hughes said.

The trains are now on frequent test runs, yet footprints show some people are already crossing where they shouldn’t.

Last week RTD and West Metro Fire conducted a drill.

“The scenario today is the victim did not want to walk to the cross walk and he jumped the fence and was struck by the train,” Lisa Trujillo with RTD said.

The danger is real. In a picture, from a distance two people can be seen walking on the tracks, easily accessible through the fences.

People on the tracks (credit: CBS)

People on the tracks (credit: CBS)

“This fencing is the fencing that was chosen by the neighborhoods and by the city to be along the light rail line,” said Brenda Tierney, RTD West Line spokesperson.

“The fences put along the light rail track were really determined by RTD,” Stacie Oulton with the City of Lakewood said.

Some areas have tall metal fences, but many others do not. Some are right next to playgrounds.

RTD says the fences meet federal regulations and worked with community organizations. The secretary of a neighborhood association says the residents did not want ugly chain link fences.

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