By Emily Battle
Fredericksburg, VA (December 17, 2009)- The railroad track above is just a few feet off Railroad Avenue in the Mayfield neighborhood. Over the years, residents who live right across the street from it have complained about construction projects along the tracks and asked for some kind of sound barrier to separate them from the tracks, which are owned by CSX.
Last month, CSX announced that it and the Alliance for Community Trees were making a $22,125 grant to plant 120 trees along Railroad Avenue to provide a buffer for the neighborhood. The trees were planted last weekend, and on Saturday at 3:30 p.m., city and railroad officials and neighborhood residents will gather to celebrate the plantings (unless it snows).
Councilman Hashmel Turner, who represents this neighborhood as the Ward 4 councilman, has been outspoken in the past about the need for CSX to address problems that city residents have had with its property. While there’s still a ways to go on some issues (the crumbling concrete bridges over Sophia, Caroline, Princess Anne and Charles streets, for example), Turner feels like the railroad is becoming more responsive to city requests, especially since installing Quintin Kendall as a local community relations officer.
“He’s really taken a personal interest in trying to build a good relationship,” Turner said. This past summer, when overgrowth on railroad property became a problem, “he came out with his personal equipment and tried to get some of the growth cut up.”
The event will be followed by a Christmas celebration at the Mayfield Community Center at 311 Glover St. The Christmas event will benefit the Weldon. L. Bailey Scholarship Fund.
Turner says trees a sign of better relations with CSX