In response to Chris Carlson’s guest opinion about an additional railroad bridge I would like to comment. I am a resident of the Sandpoint area, a downtown merchant, and am speaking as a grassroots citizen.
I believe we do not need an additional railroad bridge across Lake Pend Oreille.
I believe rail traffic in the Sandpoint area is already at a max.
I believe the railroads do not contribute anything to the economic well being of Sandpoint.
I believe railroads contribute frustration and economic disruption to the Sandpoint area due to excessive length of trains and the blocking of crossings.
I believe trains cause safety issues by blocking crossings and deterring emergency vehicles from accessing their destinations.
I believe the residents of the Sandpoint area are entitled to a good night’s sleep without disruption from trains and their noises, either running, idling or blowing their horns.
I believe Sandpoint, as a transit hub, is already over maxed, to wit, this past week there was an oil train stopped on the bridge, behind a coal train stopped near the Bottle Bay crossing. And we need more trains?
I believe we need to remember four derailments in the recent past. Oil on the Columbia, sawdust, corn on Highway 95 and coal on the Clark River.
I believe the railroads have always been “in charge” and unanswerable to the disasters they create.
I believe we must take them to account before our beautiful lake is despoiled.
I do not attempt to be a John Gant (Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”). I actually love the romanticism of trains. However, I do believe enough is enough and we do not need to facilitate the transport of more trains through our little piece of paradise. Union Pacific....find another route.