Damaged rails crossing streets must be fixed without more delay
Train tracks and town streets do not naturally go together.
And when the paths of the separate modes of transportation do cross, problems can ensue.
These days, those problems have occurred where tracks cross Bridge Street in downtown New Milford and Main Street in Danbury.
Jagged, broken metal of the tracks and the bumpy nature of the ride poses hazards as drivers try to swerve around the sites.
At issue with fixing these trouble spots: who is responsible for the repairs?
The municipalities say the Housatonic Railroad owns the tracks, and thus it's the railway company's responsibility.
Rail officials say the wear and tear of plows and traffic created the damage so it should be the municipalities' responsibility.
Yet both locations are part of state roads and the municipalities maintain the state should pay to fix the problems.
Now, after years of continued deterioration of the tracks, some signs of progress are possible.
State Rep. Clark Chapin, a Republican who represents New Milford, has proposed legislation to require the state's transportation commissioner to attend a public hearing on track repairs if at least 25 residents were to make the request.
Rep. Chapin is frustrated with the situation, and rightly so.
Whatever the path to getting the attention of the state Department of Transportation or to devising a way around the stalemate, the track repairs are a priority.
This is a matter of public safety and must be resolved expeditiously.