My name is Ray Zukowski. For those of you who don’t know me, I am Kristen Bowen’s father. I am here today to represent not just the petitioned area but all dangerous railroad locations throughout the State of Illinois that continue to take lives.
Since my daughters’ death KristensLaw supporters including myself have taken up a cause much larger than the existing dangers along our east west railway. During the last few months we have inspected numerous locations where railroad fatalities have occurred. We have discovered a very disturbing similarity. These locations where fatalities occurred have a history of death and will continue to take lives until the necessary safety measures are implemented. The stretch of tracks where Kristen was killed has the same grim history. Without any type of nearby safety crossing, children and adults continue to use this deadly path as a shortcut. In addition, this railway runs right on top of the residents on the south side and just a few feet away from the unprotected park on the north side.
Since a pedestrian bridge or underpass does not appear to be an option, a strong secure barrier needs to be constructed that will protect our children from the high-speed train traffic. Shrubs or bushes, should they survive, may prove decorative but would offer little or no resistance as far as access to this area.
This is more than just a fence in Lombard or Villa Park, the Board’s decision today will influence other cities on how they will proceed in correcting the railroad safety problems in their community. This is an opportunity for the Village of Lombard to become a leader and to send a message to the surrounding communities that we are doing everything in our power to keep our citizens safe, regardless of costs or inconvenience.
On a final note regarding my daughter, though our hearts have not healed I urge you to remember today is not about Kristen, today is about the next victim.