Sunday, December 17, 2006

Tree-Huggin' Railroadin'

Those with some interest in the establishment of new Passenger Rail routes, and those with some concern that NIMBY's and BANANA's can put a stop to just about any project, should read the recent article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel entitled Crowds Flock To Rail Symposium by Genevieve Bookwalter, Sentinel staff writer.

Out there on the leading edge of trying to get Passenger Rail service on a 32-mile Union Pacific line, these people have the community both involved and interested. How did they do it? It appears that they are willing to look beyond conventional commuter service and think of alternates that satisfy the environmentalist in all of us. People interested in just getting automobiles off the highways are there. So are those who want to see alternate fuels used in order to reduce our dependency on oil and cut down on the environmental degradation of oil exploration.

There are also those who would finance the proposal, at least in part, from other than taxes and surcharges.

There was one classic NIMBY, a resident of 30 years who complains about the windows shaking when trains go by. Where has he been for 30 years? Living next to the tracks. The tracks were there before he was and, with some luck, the rest of the crowd will have passenger service long after he is gone.

But despite the NIMBY, this is the way Passenger Rail is going to have to get done in the foreseeable future.

© 2006 - C. A. Turek -
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