The signs may have been a result of a Marietta man taking action after crossing the tracks and damaging his vehicle.
Clint Smith was traveling home from work on the same route he takes daily over Kennesaw Avenue. He was going the speed limit, he said.
“I heard a big bang when I crossed the tracks that day and didn’t notice any damage until I got home,” Smith said. “Then I realized my car was leaking oil. It drilled my oil pan.”
Smith said he had to have his car towed to the mechanic and spent more than $900 to have it fixed.
He contacted John Gerard, aka “Commuter Dude, at 11Alive, took a video of the rail crossing showing a car scraping the same way he had, and then sent the video to the newscaster. Gerard submitted a complaint to the city, but may not have been the only person to do so.
“I’ve got a picture of the cement by the tracks with hundreds of scrapes from the bottoms of cars,” Smith said.
Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin said he hasn’t heard complaints about the Kennesaw Avenue crossing, and he believes CSX made repairs on that crossing and three others within the last six months.
“I drive over the Kennesaw Avenue crossing quite a bit, and I’m happier with it now more than I was before,” Tumlin said.
Since Smith’s contact with Gerard, the new “rough crossing” signs popped up in both directions approaching the crossing, but Smith said he doesn’t know who is responsible for those new signs.
Jim Wilgus, city engineer, said the city put up the new signs in response to a citizen complaint.
Smith’s goals in bringing attention to the crossing were to be reimbursed for his damage and to prevent it from happening to others, he said.
While his first goal may be a long shot, he seems to have already accomplished his second.