Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Triple Crown

Last weekend I watched the Belmont Stakes horse race on television. This is the second race in the Triple Crown. The Kentucky Derby is two week prior to the Belmont and the Preakness is three weeks after the Belmont. The Belmont Stakes was a very exciting race. Sixth Sense, the winner of the Kentucky Derby, lost in a photo finish. The announcers of the telecast quickly said, " The Triple Crown draught continues". It has been 29 years since there has been a Triple Crown winner. Affirmed did it way back in 1978. It seems like ancient history, but I still remember when it happened. In fact, in the 70's there were three Triple Crown winners. It's hard to explain why there haven't been more winners. I guess it's a combination of things.

There are other areas of sports where there is a Triple Crown winner. For example, in baseball the player who has the most home runs, the highest batting average, and most runs batted in is awarded the Triple Crown.

The words Triple Crown have a negative connotation when it comes to residents of Sandusky, in particular on the west end of town. You see, the Norfolk and Southern Railway transports "piggy-back" trailers for Triple Crown. Essentially the Tiffin Avenue and Venice Road crossings are blocked off by these slow moving trains. It use to be just coal cars being transported to the coal docks that bottled up traffic. Triple Crown has a staging area located on Old Railroad Street where semi tractor drivers pick up full loads of freight and return empty trailers. When the full loads are being delivered, the train stops so the train can switch rail sidings. This is necessary because usually the train has around 300 cars. Today I was the beneficiary of waiting for one of these slow moving trains. I was driving my truck back to my terminal. I was stopped on Venice Road for over 30 minutes waiting for the Chinese Fire Drill to end. Finally, the train passed and the flashing signal gates slowly ascended. In celebration I honked my horn to signal victory.
Jan, has to cross the Tiffin Ave. tracks on her way to work. Since 1986 she has mentioned how she has had to wait for the train. There have been times when she had to back track and go out Route 4 (Hayes Ave.) to the Route 6 by-pass to the Route 101 exit so she could get to work on time.
Over the past ten years or so, there have been discussions of building an overpass on Venice Road. The overpass on Rt. 250 (Milan Road) was built over 30 years ago. Cedar Point played an important role in getting that overpass built so traffic into the park would move at a steady pace. You can bet if Cedar Point was located on the west end of Sandusky there would have been an overpass built many years ago as well.
Well enough of my griping. Hopefully in the near future an overpass will be built. In the meantime, when I'm stopped by a Triple Crown train I'll take a couple deep breaths and try to remain calm. After all, we've already been where we're going.


David and Heidi said...

Ah, the Triple Crowns. I got stopped by one of these a few weeks ago on Remington Ave. Thankfully it was actually moving pretty fast. First time I've ever seen that happen! Even so when I pulled up to the tracks and I saw that it was a Triple Crow I know that I had a grimace on my face. The thing is you don't even know what they're carrying.

We definitely need an overpass just for our sanity. And for safety reasons too. The fire station out on Venice is no longer fully employed last I knew. But even if it was where would they go in an emergency? Add that to having the Portland House (nursing home) and Providence Commons that is located out on the west end....probably one of the most important areas in the city that needs to be able to get from here to there faster than anywhere else. But hey, what do I know.

Dad, I can hear you now...Shit or get off the pot....move it or lose it pal...Put a nickel in it...the list goes on...

Anonymous said...

Don't get ME started!! I could run faster than those trains move...and we all know I can't run!! And, WHY do they always have to tie up the tracks during shift change?? After 12 hours of working in the sweltering heat, you get in your "boiling" hot car, only to sit for 15- 30 minutes while the train plays leap frog. The frustrating thing is, it is illegal to tie the tracks up for longer than 10 minutes, yet they continue to get away with it. Give me a break!