Rep. Garcia Announces the 'Don’t Block Our Communities Act'

Rep. Garcia Announces the 'Don’t Block Our Communities Act'

Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith
March 3, 2023

Texas Representative Sylvia Garcia (D) took to social media to announce the “Don’t Block Our Communities Act”.

“Today, I’m introducing Don’t Block Our Communities Act to address the issue of blocked crossings in the Houston region. This legislation is the first of many steps to ensure the safety and reliability of our transportation infrastructure,” tweeted Rep. Garcia.

Rep. Garcia made the immediate benefits go the bill clear and concise, stating “This bill would prohibit rail carriers from blocking intersections with passing trains for more than 10 minutes.”

The bill comes in response to Garcia receiving multiple requests from local residents for policy change. 

“Due to the feedback from my community, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) implemented a pilot program in the East End area to monitor train crossings’” stated the Texas lawmaker.

Garcia continued, saying “This $400,000 investment provides real-time monitoring of critical crossings for police, firefighters, and ambulances.”

According to the statement, there have been several “horror stories” caused by blocked crossings.

“I’m proud to introduce this bill in an effort to prevent blocked train crossings in the Houston area,” said Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia. “I’ve heard far too many horror stories from my constituents who maneuver from stalled railroads to get to work or school.” 

Furthermore, the Texas congresswoman listed the difficulties that resulting from blocked railways.

“This bill directly results from constituent feedback calling for improvements to Houston’s rail system, blocked crossings, and unnecessary horn-blowing,” said Garcia.

The statement also includes additional measures that would:

  • Require the Federal Railroad Administration to investigate blocked crossing incidents reported by the public to the new blocked crossing database created under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
  • Allow the Federal Railroad Administration to issue fines to rail carriers for repeated violations of this blocked crossing time limit

Recently, the congresswoman has been focused on legislating new rules for asylum seekers, as well expressing frustrations with the Biden administration.

“Since the announcement of new parole programs and the launch of the CBP One app, I have raised concerns with the administration about the application’s limitations and usability concerns, as well as the impact this new requirement may have on families that do not have the means to access the app.”

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Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith is a writer and recent graduate, majoring in English.

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