If you’ve ever had your lunch hour ruined being stuck waiting for the train to clear the tracks on St. Augustine Road, you’ll want to read this editorial.

If you’ve ever sat in amazed frustration watching a train inch back and forth, repeatedly, at this railroad crossing, you’ll want to support this editorial’s call.

While this crossing is personally frustrating to area drivers, it severs a vital artery of Valdosta-Lowndes County traffic for too long and too often each day. It congests traffic flow and inspires irritated drivers to speed down side streets hoping to beat the train to other crossings nearby.

State Sen. Tim Golden, who serves as the Senate Appropriations Committee secretary, recently issued a list of items he promoted that made it through the legislative budget process.

The list includes several items such as funding for Valdosta State University, funding for Veterans Service Offices including the one in Valdosta. The budget list also includes $1 million for rail lines for the St. Augustine Railroad Switching Yard expansion.

It is the locomotives switching out cars that causes the perpetual back-and-forth motion blocking this crossing. Even with the expansion, trains will still cross St. Augustine Road, but they shouldn’t, hopefully, see-saw back and forth for the long periods they do now.

While the expansion has been approved by both houses of the state General Assembly, it awaits the approval of Gov. Sonny Perdue. We hope the governor will approve the appropriation expanding the St. Augustine Road Switching Yard.

If, however, he decides to block this budget, expect your path to remain blocked by the slow-motion teeter-totter of a back-and-forth train.

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