Sunday, July 20, 2008

Environmental Protection from Commuter Rail

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under the Bush administration utterly supine to nearly every extractive, Superfund site-creating and/or polluting industry, has suddenly gotten religion.
They have decided to save us from the environmental dangers of ... commuter rail!
Governor Rell, with bipartisan support, has endorsed a plan to link New Haven and Springfield with a commuter train, proposed to begin in 2010 or 2011. It would run on existing tracks, and would complement the Amtrak trains that run from Springfield to New Haven 8 times a day. There would be 12 stops, near Middletown the train would stop in Wallingford, Meriden, and Berlin. Now the EPA has expressed concern about the environmental impact of a commuter train line on existing tracks already being used.

A regular, reliable commuter rail between New Haven and Springfield would provide an enormous, immediate benefit to Middletown. The Meriden Train Station is a very easy drive, only minutes from most of Middletown. If there were regular train service from there to points north and south, it would connect Middletown to other vibrant towns in Connecticut and beyond, while simultaneously reducing traffic on I91 and Rte 9. If Middetown could develop a regular bus or rail service between our downtown and the Meriden Rail Station, it would bring in more people to Middletown for commerce and culture, while simultaneously reducing traffic on Rte 66.

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