A state agency has ordered the city of Edgerton to fence off part of its disc golf course in Racetrack Park because it is too close to railroad tracks near the IKI Drive crossing.
However, a city official said he would rather move the two disc golf baskets than pay to install the fence ordered by the Office of the Commissioner of Railroads.
The agency’s order came after an investigation of the IKI Drive crossing signals determined that gates should be added to the flashing lights.
The agency also took the unusual step of ordering the city to install 240 feet of chain-link fencing along the north side of the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad tracks, from the IKI Drive intersection to a wooded area in the park.
One disc golf basket is 38 feet from the center of the tracks and another is 52 feet from the centerline. Both present “serious safety concerns” because of the possibility that disc golfers will run onto the tracks to retrieve overthrown discs, according to the order issued Tuesday.
“Crossing the railroad tracks at a location where there is not an approved public crossing poses safety risks; furthermore, pedestrians crossing at unapproved locations is considered trespassing,” the order states.
“There is currently no fencing along the tracks to deter trespassing or prevent the discs from entering railroad property.”
Instead of spending money on an 8-foot fence, Municipal Services Director Howard Moser said it would be more “fiscally responsible” to move the two disc golf baskets.
“We haven’t budgeted for 240 feet of fencing, but relocating the holes should alleviate the need for the fencing,” he said Thursday.
Moser, who has been on the job since Dec. 9, said he wasn’t aware of any complaints about the baskets being too close to the tracks. Still, he said he understood the agency’s concerns.
“I think the course was laid out to give more room along IKI Drive than the tracks … but there’s plenty of room in the course to relocate two holes,” he said.
No other basket on the course is within 50 feet of the tracks, Moser said.
The nine-basket disc golf course was created in 2013. Safety concerns based on its proximity to the tracks are mentioned in online reviews.
The order didn’t mention any disc golfer encounters with trains, and the crossing has not had a train-vehicle collision since 1973.
Four Wisconsin & Southern trains use that crossing daily at a posted speed limit of 40 mph. The crossing also is used by 750 vehicles daily, according to the order.
The flashing lights were installed around 1980, and conditions warrant upgrades because of train speeds and inadequate sight lines for motorists to see approaching trains, according to the order.
The agency gave the railroad until the end of 2022 to make the crossing upgrades. It ordered the city to reposition crossing warning signs along IKI Drive and repaint faded markings and stop lines on the pavement.
Under the order, those upgrades must be completed by May 31 at the city’s expense.
An agency representative said removal of the disc golf baskets would be considered as an alternative to the fencing.