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Minutes January 21, 2006 IN ATTENDANCE: Lanny Wilson, Ch. Bill Czubaja Dick Goers Rose Humiston Don Lindsey Mark Wodka Barbara Biederman Mike DeLarco George Graves Ray Jagman Carole Messana Tom Zapler Fred Biederman Adrian Garcia Phyllis Gregory Steve Laffey Ed Sirovy Robert Zmudka CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Wilson opened the meeting at 8:30 a.m. in the Boardroom at Hinsdale Hospital. Lanny shared from the book The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews. It’s a story of a traveler who goes back in time to receive a message from each of seven historic figures. Until you read the book to enjoy the complete experience, here are the seven components of The Traveler’s Gift: “The Buck Stops Here.” - Harry Truman “I will seek wisdom.” – King Solomon “I am a person of action.” – Colonel Joshua Chamberlain “I have a decided heart.” – Christopher Columbus “Today, I will choose to be happy.” – Anne Frank “I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit.” – Abraham Lincoln “I will persist without exception.” – The Angel Gabriel Barbara Biederman shared the following poem: I am only one, but I am one. I can’t do everything, but I can do something. And what I can do, I ought to do. And what I ought to do, By the Grace of God I will do! REVIEW MINUTES: The December 17, 2005 minutes were reviewed and approved unanimously. INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS AND NEW MEMBERS: Lanny welcomed Don Lindsey to our group who was invited by George Graves. Don has had experience as a Certified Steam Engine Engineer and also worked with Diesels. He also worked as a lobbyist for the Railroad Engineer Union in Washington and Springfield, prior to his retirement and served as a member of the first High Speed Rail Committee. We are very happy to have him aboard. RAILROAD SAFETY SUMMIT – SEPTEMBER 14, 2006: We decided to start the conference at 7:00 a.m. with registration and a continental breakfast. The Welcome will begin at 8:00 a.m. George Graves suggested we add the work Team to our title. Example: Teaming up for Pedestrian Safety. The conference will be sponsored by the DuPage Railroad Safety Council, Operation Lifesaver, and Illinois Commerce Commission. We should have more participants by joining with OPL and ICC. The auditorium holds 300 people. It was suggested we include in our awards police officer recognition. 2 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Fred and Barbara Biederman wrote a letter to their State Senator, Terry Link in support of Photo Enforcement. They also encouraged everyone to send a letter to their State Senator in support of this legislation. Governor Rod Blagojevich’s office, IDOT and the ICC voiced support for legislation being proposed by the state lawmakers from Elmwood Park, Senator Don Harmon and Representative Angelo “Skip” Saviano to enforce traffic laws by installing cameras at rail crossings. PEDESTRIAN SAFETY: Mt Vernon, Illinois’ school district makes it mandatory to have one week of school devoted to safety issues. Railroad safety is one of the areas reviewed. It is important to educate pedestrians on railroad safety. One of the age groups we need to focus on is the 20’s 50’s – the commuters. Rose suggested railroad safety messages should be displayed in health clubs, coffee shops, movie theatres, CTA buses, new resident packages in all communities, etc. We need to find ways to generate “creative redundancy” of pedestrian safety messages. REPORTS FROM RAILROADS/FRA/ICC: Steve Laffey reviewed the chart, included in our information packet, on Illinois Collision Statistics for Public AtGrade Crossings. Collision totals were down in 2005. However, pedestrian deaths and injuries increased in 2005. We are happy that vehicle incidents have decreased but we need to do more to bring the numbers down regarding pedestrian safety. Our 2006 safety summit is being designed to address this problem. Aspects of the BNSF Trespasser Abatement Program were described. They are working with McDonald’s Corporation to hand out drink coupons to help promote railroad safety. OPERATION LIFESAVER: Operation Lifesaver held a meeting at Health World in Barrington recently. They have approximately 150,000 presentations nationwide and 100 active presenters in Illinois. Operation Lifesaver is holding a Symposium to be held in Anaheim, California, July 9 – 12, 2006 We proposed that Operation Lifesaver Illinois get information to 100% of schools in Illinois. If a school does not offer an Operation Lifesaver presentation, then at the very least, information needs to be shared with every family who has a child enrolled in the school. The Illinois motto of “No child left behind” for education needs to be extended to “No child left behind in being educated by Operation Lifesaver”. NEW BUSINESS: Ray Jagman, Downers Grove Police Officer shared a wonderful revenue producing idea. Design a license plate with the DRSC logo. Proceeds could go toward promoting the three E’s (& 4 th E) of railroad safety. With the purchase of 1,000 plates, $27,000 could be made. There is an additional fee of $27 for these special license plates. Thank you, Officer Jagman, for your creative suggestion. NEXT MEETING AND ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 a.m. Our next meeting will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2006 at 8:30 a.m. in the DuPage County BoardRoom, 421 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton, IL. Respectfully submitted, Carole Messana Dr. Lanny F. Wilson, Chairman Minutes February 18, 2006 IN ATTENDANCE: Lanny Wilson, Ch. Rose Humiston Don Lindsey Bob Meyer Jim Speta George Graves Ray Jagman William Lyons Betty Olivera Joyce Stupegia Debbie Hare Steve Laffey Carole Messana Ed Sirovy Rick Talerico CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Wilson opened the meeting at 8:30 a.m. in the DuPage County Boardroom in Wheaton. From the sublime of last month’s message to the ridiculous of this month – Alpha the Gorilla at Brookfield Zoo was featured on the front page of last Sunday’s Chicago Tribune. In 1979, when Lanny was a Chief Resident in Obstetrics & Gynecology at Loyola University, he got a phone call from Brookfield Zoo that they had a gorilla that they thought was in premature labor. They needed Dr. Wilson’s help. There were no Veterinarians at the zoo that could help with this situation. When Dr. Wilson called his wife, Linnea, and told her about this request, she cautioned him that it could be a prank. He called the Zoo back and they confirmed it was legitimate and they needed him quickly. So, Dr. Wilson, with Linnea, arrived at the Zoo to find poor Alpha in a squatting position which is the position they adapt when about to give birth. Dr. Wilson performed an x-ray and the results showed that Alpha was not pregnant but was constipated and had an infection. She has since given birth to five babies and is now 45 years old and is perimenapausal. REVIEW MINUTES: The January 21, 2006 minutes were reviewed and approved unanimously. INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS AND NEW MEMBERS: Lanny welcomed Joyce Stupegia, Villa Park President and William Lyons, Villa Park Police Officer. They both share our mission to prevent deaths and injuries at railroad crossings and along railways. We welcome their participation and support. RAILROAD SAFETY SUMMIT – SEPTEMBER 14, 2006: See what time of year the DuPage Transportation Summit will be held. Perhaps they would schedule their meeting on the Friday after our meeting in September. Rose offered to send an email to John Noel with the idea that we piggyback our meetings. We have settled on the name “Teaming Up For Pedestrian Safety”. George Graves is responsible for this great idea. Thank you George. Paul Froehlich has agreed to be the moderator of our Legislative Panel. Lanny continues working on the Engineering Panel. Tom Zapler has made some excellent recommendations. Our Education Panel is set. George Graves offered to design the panel on Grassroots Involvement at the Community Level. It is likely that Patrick Higgins, Administrative Assistant of Western Springs will be on the panel. The success of the Western Springs project was summed up by George as “It’s more than just an underpass, it’s an attitude!” Work is still ongoing for our keynote speaker. Lanny will contact Aaron Gellman, Professor at Northwestern University to see if he would be available or perhaps have a suggestion. 2 George feels it would be very beneficial to have an information packet available to participants of our conference. This packet could include educational information from the ICC and FRA and Operation Lifesaver. It was suggested that it could be handed out right after this panel. Betty Olivera had a very similar interest in such a packet. A subcommittee, consisting of George, Betty, and any other interested parties was suggested. We feel confident that our Law Enforcement Panel will be enlightening with Officer Rick Talerico as our moderator. Some suggestions for that panel were: Bill Czubaja, Senior Special Agent for the BNSF; Betty Olivera, Attorney for Harris, Kessler & Goldstein, LLC; Anya Carroll, Railroad Systems Division; and perhaps Senator John Millner. There was some questioning that perhaps Senator Millner may be more appropriate for our Legislative Panel. Our new guest, Police Officer Bill Lyons of Villa Park may also be a good addition to our Law Enforcement Panel. Villa Park has a very aggressive railroad safety program. Bill shared information about several blitzes they held at their railroad stations on pedestrian safety. They promote zero tolerance on illegal trespassing on railroad property. Other topics suggested for this panel were the PEERs Project (which Steve Laffey and the ICC administer) and Pedestrian Enforcement. Steve Laffey suggested we ask Erin O’Connell-Diaz, ICC, to be the moderator for our Trespassing Issues panel. Steve will also participate on this panel. Steve feels the purpose of this panel is to raise the question “what can we do to lower the statistics in pedestrian incidents/fatalities?” LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: HB4335 – Establish a system for automated enforcement of railroad crossing violations. Some of the sponsors are Representative Paul Froehlich and Angelo Saviano. HB5246 – Amends Illinois Vehicle Code regarding Photo Enforcement. Currently in the Rules Committee. This bill was introduced by Representative Angelo Saviano and Co-signed by Representative Paul Froehlich. SB2865 – Senate Sponsor, Kirk Dillard; House Sponsor, Representatives Paul Froehlich and Angelo Saviano. May establish in any county or municipality a system for automated enforcement of railroad crossing violations. Assigned to Transportation & Motor Vehicle Committee. SB2866 – Senator Kirk Dillard added as Chief Co-sponsor. Regarding Photo Enforcement; a fine of $500 shall be imposed for a second or subsequent violation. SB2834 – Sponsored by Senator Kirk Dillard. Amends the Illinois Highway Code. Provides that no new grade crossings of public highways with railroads may be established in Illinois effective July 1, 2006. Referred to Rules Committee. REPORTS FROM FRA: Communities can still institute quiet zones if they meet the necessary Federal requirements. This is not an issue that has gone away! The placement of thorny bushes has not been as successful as proponents had hoped it would be. Other means are being studied to help prevent trespassing. Intertrack fencing is one example. It is believed it can help channel commuters to use crosswalks. NEXT MEETING AND ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 a.m. Our next meeting will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2006 at 8:30 a.m. in the DuPage County Boardroom, 421 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton, IL. (Front Security Telephone number: 630-407-5262. Respectfully submitted, Carole Messana Dr. Lanny F. Wilson, Chairman Minutes March 18, 2006 IN ATTENDANCE: Lanny Wilson, Ch. Fred Biederman Mike Delarco Dick Goers Rose Humiston Don Lindsey Betty Olivera Lourdes Beard Bill Czubaja Adrian Garcia George Graves Ray Jagman William Lyons Ed Sirovy Barbara Biederman Darlene Czubaja Phyllis Gregory Debbie Hare Steve Laffey Bob Meyer Mark Wodka CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Wilson opened the meeting at 8:30 a.m. in the DuPage County Boardroom in Wheaton. After a few opening remarks about the difficulty of sharing grief with “just anyone”, Lanny read the following poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850 – 1919): Solitude Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone. For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth, But has trouble enough of its own. Sing, and the hills will answer; Sigh, it is lost on the air. The echoes bound to a joyful sound, But shrink from voicing care. Rejoice, and men will see you; Grieve, and they turn and go. They want full measure of all your pleasure, But they do not need your woe. Be glad, and your friends are many; Be sad, and you lose them all. There are none to decline your nectared wine, But alone you must drink life’s gall. Feast, and your halls are crowded; Fast, and the world goes by. Succeed and give, and it helps you live, But no man can help you die. There is room in the halls of pleasure For a long and lordly train, But one by one we must all file on Through the narrow aisles of pain. REVIEW MINUTES: The February 18, 2006 minutes were reviewed and approved. 2. INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS AND NEW MEMBERS: Lanny welcomed Darlene Czubaja, wife of Bill Czubaja. We always appreciate it when spouses or children can join our members and participants. It is not easy for anyone to relinquish a Saturday morning from family activities. RAILROAD SAFETY SUMMIT – SEPTEMBER 14, 2006: “Teaming Up For Pedestrian Safety” seems to be progressing well. Our goal is to change the upwardly moving statistics of pedestrian deaths and pedestrian incidents so that they start moving in a downward direction. These statistics have been going in the wrong direction for much too long! Point-by-point, we reviewed the draft agenda. The panel format requires limiting the number of panelists in order to stay within the allotted time. Lanny will contact Paul Froehlich to discuss the Legislative Panel. Philosophy and attitude are as important as choice of participants. We want every aspect of our conference to advance the cause of pedestrian safety. The Engineering Panel is the least organized at this time. Lanny is the Moderator and is committed to the concept of engineering effective, long-term solutions. He promises to coordinate the engineering panel with the remainder of the conference to teach conference attendees, and the general public, about methods to improve pedestrian safety at railroad crossings and along railways. The Education Panel is well organized. Rose Humiston has a passion for education and the three panelists represent diverse interests with a similar passion for railroad safety education. The powerhouse panel – Chip Pew, Dave Franson, and Karen Sheehan – are confirmed. Grassroots Involvement at the Community Level will be moderated by George Graves. He has spoken with Patrick Higgins, the Western Springs administrator who has a great deal of knowledge regarding the Western Spring Pedestrian Underpass(es). An audiovisual presentation is in the works. The keynote speaker is still in question. Although Lanny spoke with Dr. Aaron Gellman’s office, there is no commitment from Dr. Gellman yet. Steve Laffey suggested that the author, David M. Young, might be an interesting speaker. He is former transportation editor for the Chicago Tribune and his most recent book describes how railroads shaped the City of Chicago. Although Officer Rick Talerico, Moderator of the Law Enforcement Panel, was not present, it looks as though this panel is shaping up well. Bill Czubaja, from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, discussed a video which might be helpful. The BN/SF is very involved with a Trespasser Abatement Program. We are anxious to share their story. Officers Mark Wodka (Hinsdale), Ray Jagman (Downers Grove), and Bill Lyons (Villa Park) have offered to share their experiences. Rick Talerico and the other law enforcement folks should get together, in advance of the conference, to rehearse their one hour panel presentation. Steve Laffey said that Erin O’Connell-Diaz will moderate the Trespassing Issues Panel. This one-hour panel will be the anchor of our program. Karen Marshall (O.L. from Detroit) is nationally renowned for her knowledge of suicide issues. Steve will organize this final hour of our conference, along with the other panelists. In addition to the conference information, and the traditional conference booklet, an important aspect of this conference will be the gathering together of “How-to-do-it” information for communities who wish to upgrade pedestrian safety. LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Don Lindsey suggested that we ask the General Assembly and/or the Governor to declare the week of our conference as “Railroad Safety Week” in Illinois. This can be done by proclamation. Paul Froehlich, Patti Bellock, Kirk Dillard, and/or John Millner could help navigate this proclamation. The photo enforcement bills seem to be progressing well. The “no new grade crossings” bill still needs work. It is a great idea that needs fine tuning. We must persist! The State of Illinois has proposed to rob precious dollars from the Grade Crossing Protection Fund. Even though there is a precedent, it is not right and we must continue expressing our distress. Thanks to Representative Patti Bellock and Senator Kirk Dillard for bringing this to our attention. DRSC wrote a strong letter opposing the use of Grade Crossing Protection Funds for anything other than its appropriate, designated purpose. OPERATION LIFESAVER: George Graves taught emergency response to a group of firefighters recently. The program was rather spontaneous and wellreceived. Maine Operation Lifesaver is producing safety messages on a baseball card format. Interesting idea. We’ll see how it flies! Canada’s Operation Lifesaver program is quite progressive. Gary Drouin is a Canadian name we should get to know. An avid railroad safety spokesperson is a young man who lost an arm and a leg during a railroad incident. He may wish to add his talents to our conference and our work. 3. REPORTS FROM RAILROADS AND THE FRA: BNSF is moving through the Chicago suburbs with their Trespasser Abatement Program. Jo Strang, Associate Administrator of the FRA, is someone we should consider inviting to our conference … our kind of person, according to our FRA representative, Bob Meyer. BNSF is planning intertrack fencing along some of its lines in suburban Chicago. PEDESTRAIN SAFETY: Phyllis Gregory reported that there is a long stretch of tracks in Villa Park which is very dangerous because there are so many people living around it and there are no visible deterrents. It seems ideal for intertrack fencing and/or deterrent hedges. A pedestrian underpass should also be considered. Pedestrians should be safely channeled to an appropriate crossing. Mike DeLarco reported on the River Grove progress. Betty Olivera, along with her Victor’s Crossing team, were able to get pedestrian gates placed at the main crossing in Glen View. They are now working to place pedestrian gates at another crossing in Glen View. REVIEW OF RECENT EVENTS: Ed Sirovy highlighted the 67 page hand-out which he gathered. The Los Angeles integrated “sealed corridor” project was announced. The L.A. area’s commuter rail system unveiled a new grade-crossing safety enhancement plan to “seal-up” 57 crossings along 65 miles of track on Metrolink’s Ventura County and Antelope Valley lines. The plan will feature improvements at grade crossings including four-quadrant gates, longer gate arms, median separation, locked gates, fencing, and other enhancements. DRSC is familiar with the North Carolina “sealed corridor”. However, the California is unique in that it will be the first commuter rail agency in the country to apply these methods to a densely populated urban setting with correspondingly high volumes of street and rail traffic. It is our hope and dream that the “sealed corridor” concept will be implemented along all the lines which Chicago’s Metra system serves. We may focus on a “Chicagoland Sealed Corridor System” for our 2008 conference. NEW BUSINESS: Chairman Wilson (Lanny) was notified on Thursday, March 16, 2006 that he is this year’s recipient of the prestigious Dr. Gary Burch Memorial Safety Award. He was nominated by Dennis Mogan of Metra. The award which includes $1000, is presented by the Burch Family, who created the award after Dr. Burch died on a trackrelated Amtrak derailment in South Carolina in 1991. The Burch family recognized that Dr. Wilson’s activity as Chairman of the DuPage Railroad Safety Council is similar to what their family has tried to do with the Burch Award. NEXT MEETING AND ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 a.m. Our next meeting will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2006 at 8:30 a.m. in the Board Room at Hinsdale Hospital at 120 N. Oak Street in Hinsdale. Note: This will be the fourth Saturday of April – not the third Saturday (which is most common). Sincerely, Lanny F. Wilson, M.D.