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CITY PHILADELPHIA v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION (04/11/83)

decided: April 11, 1983.

CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, PETITIONER
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT. UNITED TRANSPORTATION UNION ET AL., INTERVENORS. CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, PETITIONER V. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION, RESPONDENT. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, INTERVENOR



Appeals from the Orders of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in the cases of Application of the City of Philadelphia for approval of the alteration and reconstruction of the crossings, at grade, of (1) Packer Avenue and the tracks of Consolidated Rail Corporation, located in the bed of Delaware Avenue, (2) the tracks of Consolidated Rail Corporation which cross Delaware Avenue (West Side), south of Packer Avenue, and (3) the tracks of Consolidated Rail Corporation and The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company which cross Pattison Avenue, east of Swanson Street, all in the City of Philadelphia, and the allocation of the costs and expenses incident thereto, No. A-00100712.

COUNSEL

Alan J. Davis, City Solicitor, with him Jill A. Douthett, Deputy City Solicitor, and Michael B. Tolcott, Assistant City Solicitor, for petitioner.

John J. Gallagher, Assistant Counsel, with him John B. Wilson, Deputy Chief Counsel, and Joseph J. Malatesta, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.

T. P. Shearer, for intervenor, United Transportation Union.

Judges Rogers, Blatt and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 73 Pa. Commw. Page 356]

We have consolidated for disposition the appeals of the City of Philadelphia from two orders of the

[ 73 Pa. Commw. Page 357]

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC); the first, directing the city to install, at the city's initial expense, highway traffic signals at two street-railroad crossings and to submit plans for the installation of the traffic signals within sixty days; and the second, granting the city an extension of time for its submission of plans from sixty days to six months, conditioned on the city's withdrawing its appeal to this court of the PUC's first order.

The city filed applications for PUC approval of the alteration and reconstruction of the street-railroad crossings, citing as their purpose the necessity for improving the circulation of traffic along and near the Delaware River waterfront. After hearing, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) recommended approval of the applications and the allocation of work responsibilities and costs among the entities involved. The PUC generally approved the applications, but remanded the record for further hearings on two issues: first, the allocation of the cost of street lighting, not at issue in these appeals, and second, the matter of safety protection at the street-railroad crossings. The United Transportation Union was joined as a party.

After a second hearing on June 11, 1980, a different ALJ directed that crossbuck signs, advance warning signs, pavement markings, and train crew flagging should be used as crossing protection. The union filed exceptions to the ALJ's decision, objecting to the use of train crew flagging and advocating the installation of highway traffic signals. As noted, the PUC directed the city to install highway traffic signals and to file a plan for their installation within sixty days. The city filed a Petition for Review of the order to No. 2320 C.D. 1981. The city filed a petition for modification, rescission, stay, supersedeas and a supplemental petition for reconsideration. The PUC generally denied the prayers of these applications but granted the city's

[ 73 Pa. Commw. Page 358]

    request for an extension of time for filing plans, conditioned on the withdrawal of the city's ...


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