L.A. councilman calls Union Pacific’s effort to clean right-of-way trash

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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A Los Angeles councilman believes Union Pacific has let itself go and is demanding an intervention at the railroad’s expense.

A resolution was introduced this week during a Los Angeles City Council meeting that declares miles of Union Pacific track as public nuisance areas. If passed the city would be allowed to clean up the right-of-way and charge the Class 1 railroad.

Joe Buscaino, who introduced the resolution and represents District 15, says the tracks run through communities of color that include Watts, Wilmington and Harbor Gateway. Buscaino’s resolution will go to the Public Works Committee for a vote before moving on to the city council.

In a statement, Union Pacific says it will remain engaged with Buscaino and the city of Los Angeles “to address this very complex issue.” The Class 1 railroad, however, blamed the clutter around the tracks on the current homeless problem, which has prevented crews from going out and clearing the area. UP says it has developed a relocation program for the homeless that works in cooperation with local nonprofit partners to offer needed social services.

“Through these efforts and more, Union Pacific has dedicated a significant amount of resources to maintain our right-of-way,” the statement said.

Buscaino, however, has been ruthless on social media, accusing Union Pacific of not spending enough money on cleanup efforts and not employing enough workers to take care of the situation.

“Union Pacific, a Fortune 500 company, has done little to nothing about illegal dumping, graffiti, large encampments and overgrown weeds and other vegetation for which they are responsible,” reads one Buscaino post.

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