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BEHIND THE SCENES: A mother's fight to the other side of the tracks

ThoroldToday editor Bernard Lansbergen takes us behind the scenes

Sarah Prebianca, a resident of Allanburg, has been struggling to get the gaps in the railroad crossings near her home fixed. This issue is particularly urgent for her family because her three-year-old daughter, Georgia, who uses a wheelchair, is unable to safely cross the train tracks. Georgia suffers from a rare congenital disorder called Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome, which affects her brain and behavior. Due to her condition, Georgia is immobile and requires constant care. The lack of accessible railroad crossings has severely limited Georgia's ability to go outdoors and enjoy activities that bring her comfort and joy.

The problem began when CN Rail conducted work on the railroad crossing at Henderson Street, leaving significant gaps between the wooden beams that pose a challenge for Georgia's wheelchair. Sarah has been in contact with the city regarding this issue, but their attention has been focused on another matter flagged by Sarah: the cessation of train whistles at night. While City Hall is conducting a study on whistle cessations at all railroad crossings in Allanburg, Sarah is hoping for a temporary fix to the crossings so she can resume taking Georgia for walks.

Both CN Rail and City Hall acknowledge the responsibility for maintaining the railroad crossings. CN Rail states that they will only address the issue if it is requested and paid for by the city, while City Hall reassures that they will be working with CN Rail to repair the crossings as soon as possible. However, the construction is not expected to be completed until next year, if approved by City Council.

In the meantime, Sarah and Georgia are left with limited options and are restricted to their street for outdoor activities. Sarah emphasizes the importance of accessibility and the right for everyone to enjoy the outdoors. She urges the involved parties to take prompt action to address the railroad crossing issue and ensure that her daughter and others in similar situations can experience the simple pleasures of being outside with their families.

Video Summary:

Sarah Prebianca, a resident of Allanburg, has been facing difficulties in taking her wheelchair-bound three-year-old daughter, Georgia, for walks due to gaps in the railroad crossings. Sarah has been actively advocating for a solution, reaching out to CN Rail and the city for assistance. However, the issue has been overshadowed by another concern raised by Sarah regarding train whistle cessation. Both CN Rail and the municipality have indicated that the responsibility lies with the other party to address the problem.

Despite Sarah's efforts, the immediate issue of the inaccessible crossings remains unresolved. She has received support from the community, with neighbors and friends rallying around her and expressing their hopes for a resolution. The impact on Georgia's well-being and quality of life is significant, as she is unable to enjoy simple activities such as walks along the canal, which brought her comfort and joy.

The urgency of addressing the issue lies in the limited options available to Georgia and the confinement it imposes on her and her family. Without a resolution, the world becomes smaller for Georgia, and the inability to engage in these activities affects her overall well-being. Public attention and pressure may play a role in encouraging CN Rail and the municipality to reconsider their positions and take action to rectify the problem.