NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – It’s ugly and riders fear it’s unsafe.
Trash near the Metro North tracks in New Rochelle is piling up right next to critical infrastructure and in full view of the railroad’s employees.
So what will it take to get it cleaned up and who is responsible for it?
The big mess keeps piling up along the New Haven line; on America’s busiest commuter rail line.
Some of it abutting a critical tower that provides electric power to trains.
“I think that’s despicable. It’s very unsafe,” Metro North rider Melissa Khan said.
Making matters worse, it’s happening as Metro North workers look on and don’t act to address it. Workers who use a parking lot just a few yards from the trash pile.
A picture from July 25 shows workers near the trash but CBS2 has confirmed no employee ever reported the condition.
“Take care of the job! They’re up and down these tracks every day,” rider Jamel Clinton declared.
The trash is coming from Garden Street. There’s a hole in the fence that’s supposed to deter access – allowing people to dump stuff on the slope that leads to the tracks.
Suitcases, a skateboard, even huge stuffed animals are finding their way to the filthy pile.
A quick search of Metro North’s Twitter feed would lead you to believe the agency considers trash on the tracks a safety issue.
It frequently advises riders of delays due to debris on the tracks. In a 2017 “safety tweet of the week” Metro North said a tiny bit of trash “isn’t safe or pretty.”
But this huge pile in New Rochelle is apparently a different story.
The agency told CBS2 “while this is an unacceptable eyesore, and not consistent with our standards at Metro North, the railroad determined that the trash does not impact the safety of our customers.”
“The fact that we pay so much money for the tickets, and with taxes and stuff, that is very like troubling,” Khan added.
The trash – unreported by any Metro North workers and considered by the railroad to be nothing but an eyesore and not a safety risk – is now on the schedule for removal.
Metro North says its right-of-way along the tracks is more than 800 miles long.
The railroad says it relies on reports from localities to help prioritize cleanup efforts.