Chapter 8.48


8.48.010    Definitions.

8.48.020    Maintenance of grade crossings.

8.48.030    Maintenance of undercrossing and overcrossings.

8.48.040    Enforcement.

8.48.010 Definitions.

Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, the following terms used in this chapter are defined as follows:

A.    “City council” means the city council of the city.

B.    “Crossing” means an overcrossing, undercrossing or grade crossing.

C.    “Grade crossing” means any point or place where a railroad crosses a street or a street crosses a railroad or a railroad crosses another at a common grade.

D.    “Overcrossing” means any point or place where a street crosses a railroad by passing above the same.

E.    “Railroad” means every railroad in the city, including interurban and suburban electric railroads, by whatsoever power operated, for the public use in the conveyance of persons or property for hire, with all bridges, ferries, tunnels, equipment, switches, spurs, sidings, tracks, stations and terminal facilities of every kind used, operated, controlled, managed or owned by or in connection therewith.

F.    “Railroad company” means and includes every corporation, company, association, joint stock association, partnership or person, its, their or his lessees, trustees or receivers appointed by any court whatsoever owning, operating, controlling or managing any railroad.

G.    “Street” means and includes all streets, alleys, avenues, boulevards, parkways and other public places actually open and in use or to be open and used for travel by the public in the city.

H.    “Undercrossing” means any point or place where a street crosses a railroad by passing under the same. (Ord. 1221-86 § 1, 1986)

8.48.020 Maintenance of grade crossings.

All grade crossings by railroads in the city shall be maintained by the railroad company with proper signal warnings, flagmen, interlocking devices and other devices or means to secure the safety of the public and shall conform to current specifications of the State Department of Transportation as set forth in Section 341.02 of the Design Manual of the State Department of Transportation M22-01 (HR), May, 1982, and Appendix A of the Design Standards for Urban Arterials in the State of Washington, July 30, 1981, UAB, which is adopted by reference and filed with the city clerk in accordance with Section 3.5 of the Charter of the city. (Ord. 1221-86 § 2, 1986)

8.48.030 Maintenance of undercrossing and overcrossings.

A.    The framework and abutments of all overcrossings and the framework and abutments and deck structure of all undercrossings shall be maintained and kept in repair by the railroad company and the street thereover or thereunder shall be maintained and kept in repair by the city.

B.    Such framework and abutments of all overcrossings shall be maintained by the railroad company to support live loadings on the deck of not less than HS 20-44 in accordance with the Standard Specifications for Highway Bridges, Thirteenth Edition, 1983, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials which is adopted by reference and filed with the city clerk in accordance with Section 3.5 of the Charter of the city. The railroad company shall have one year after notice from the mayor to do so to bring any nonconforming bridges to such standard. (Ord. 1221-86 § 3, 1986)

8.48.040 Enforcement.

A.    The mayor may file with the city council a petition in writing stating that a crossing in the city does not conform to the standards in this chapter and an improvement in the method and manner of such crossing, and its approaches, or in the style and nature of construction of any existing overcrossing, undercrossing or grade crossing or the closing or discontinuance of an existing street crossing and the diversion of travel thereon to another street or crossing, or, if not practicable, to change such crossings from grade or to close and discontinue the same, is required and praying that the same be ordered by the city council. Upon such petition being filed, the council shall fix a time and place for hearing the petition and shall give not less than ten days notice thereof to the railroad company and the city administration to hear the matter before the city council or before a hearing examiner appointed by city council to make recommendations to the city council. At the time and place fixed in the notice all persons and parties interested shall be entitled to be heard and introduce evidence, including evidence regarding costs apportionment as provided in subsection D of this section.

B.    At the conclusion of the hearing if it be before city council, the city council shall enter an order, based upon findings of fact, determining whether the crossing does or does not conform to the standards in this chapter and, if not, what improvements are ordered to accomplish conformance to such standards and any other matter which the public safety may require with regard to such crossing which the city council may find advisable or necessary, including findings regarding costs apportionment, payment terms, and time for completion of any improvements required. Such order of city council shall be enacted in ordinance form.

C.    In the event that the city council elects to appoint a hearing examiner to hear the evidence and make findings and recommendations to the city council, the hearing examiner shall prepare findings of fact concerning the matters petitioned for and shall submit a recommended decision to the city council. The city council shall consider the recommended decision and may consider argument from the railroad, the city administration or other affected parties only with regard to conclusions and recommendations of the hearing examiner, and the city council shall: 1) adopt the findings and recommendations of the hearing examiner and enact the hearing examiner’s recommendations by ordinance, or 2) send back to the hearing examiner the matter for further evidentiary review and submission of further findings and recommendations, or 3) call for a hearing de novo to be held before the city council.

D.    The entire expense of any changes or improvements to an existing crossing including the expense of constructing approaches to such crossing and expense of securing rights-of-way for such approaches shall be apportioned between the railroad and the city in such manner as justice may require regard being had for all facts relating to the establishment, reason for, and design and construction of such improvement.

E.    Any railroad company that violates the provisions of an ordinance establishing an order of the city council pursuant to this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars. The imposition of one penalty for any one violation shall not excuse the violation or permit it to continue and such railroad company shall be required to correct or remedy such violations within a reasonable time. Each day a prohibited condition exists shall constitute a separate offense.

F.    In addition to such penalty, all undercrossings, overcrossings or grade crossings constructed, maintained, operated or used in violation of this chapter or other ordinances or any orders of the city council pursuant to this chapter are declared to be a nuisance and legal enforcement may be taken by any appropriate remedy, including but not limited to nuisance and damages. (Ord. 1221-86 § 4, 1986)