“UT, City Block Parking along Railroad Tracks”

The City of Tampa, in conjunction with CSX Railways, has cordoned off the grassy area along the railroad track near the Cass Street entrance.

It is illegal to park in that area, and individuals parked there are threatened with towing and tickets.

Parking in the roadway along Cass Street is also prohibited.

UT students often park there to attend classes in the Cass Building or for sporting events. Tampa Prep students often park there as well.

Public Information says that eventually there will be permanent bollards and landscaping installed, in addition to no parking and towing signage.

‘It’s terrible that people park there,’ Kevin Howell, assistant director of security said before the parking was closed, calling the issue ‘dangerous.’

Howell said that the Jacksonville-based transportation company, CSX Transportation Corporation, owns the tracks and some of the area around it, but the grass part is owned by the city.

Howell says if a car is in the way, CSX has to stop the train and tow the car which could result in up to a two hour delay.

Not to mention that many of the substances running on the trains to and from the Port of Tampa carry liquid sulfur, ammonium and chlorine which are all hazardous.

According to Howell, the city does not consider parking on the grass near the tracks illegal, because it isn’t parking on the sidewalk, obstructing the view of the right of way and are 30 feet away from the stop sign.

At any given time during the day cars line the tracks from N. Boulevard all the way to the river.

Students go in and out, ignoring the ‘No Trespassing’ signs and danger warnings of being near the railroad tracks.

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