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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 3, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Congested cities concerned about coal-train traffic

Congestion is a make-or-break issue

The Millennium Bulk coal export terminal site in Longview, in Cowlitz County. [Alan Berner, The Seattle Times.]

The Millennium Bulk coal export terminal site in Longview, in Cowlitz County. [Alan Berner, The Seattle Times.]

So Ken Miller, of Millennium Bulk Terminals in Longview, doesn’t believe the rail congestion is a make-or-break issue. [“Coal trains a concern for congested cities,” page one, June 30.]

Many would disagree with that. If Millennium Bulk builds out to full capacity, there will be a minimum of 16 unit trains per day, clogging 4 intersections in the Longview industrial area.

Traffic is already congested, due to the existing businesses on that corridor. One important rail crossing would block access to the Lewis and Clark bridge, connecting Oregon and Washington.

It is estimated that at rush hour, the last car in line to cross the bridge would need 45 minutes, accounting for traffic signals and backup. St. John’s Hospital serves the entire region; one wonders how many babies will be born on top of the bridge because the mom couldn’t get to the hospital! The same holds true for emergency services reaching the other side of the tracks.

Remedies for this congestion will cost the taxpayers millions of dollars, with the benefits going to a company that wants to exacerbate climate change.

Stop the coal trains now!

Gayle Kiser, president of Landowners and Citizens for a Safe Community, Longview

0 Comments | More in Environment, Politics, Transportation | Topics: bridge, coal, Coal trains

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