Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Why Leucadia Blvd./Vulcan Ave. Still Sucks

Below is an excerpt from a community forum letter in TCN from years ago. Sol Beach got something out of their DBL tracking... we didn't.

Encinitas citizens supported their Council when it sued NCTD over plans to add a passing track through Cardiff. But now residents feel betrayed by their delegates to the transit board, Mayor Guerin in 2002 and Mayor Stocks in 2003. Both voted for the passing track without negotiating acceptable concessions for our community. Are political favors worth more than community values and safety?

We got no comprehensive EIR for the entire rail corridor, no grade separation between major street crossings and the tracks, and no pedestrian crossings, only vague promises that the NCTD would not oppose the latter. The city is now taking $1.2 million of your tax money to "analyze" three prospective pedestrian crossings, plus an estimated $5 million to design and build them. With no specific time table, they may never be built.

The new passing track will be just 2 miles from a similar one in Solana Beach and will not improve our commuter service. With proper scheduling, Coaster and Amtrak trains run fine on existing tracks. Contrary to NCTD claims, no time is lost for lack of an Encinitas passing track. Presently scheduled commuter trips are below capacity. Everyone knows, effective mass transportation will require double tracks along the entire corridor from Oceanside to San Diego, so that trains could run every 15 minutes. But piecemeal addition of passing tracks at this stage is unnecessary, undesirable and destructive to our communities.

It is also a waste of money - unless you consider NCTD's hidden agenda. In their January 2000 "Fast Forward Strategic Business Plan" they stated that the Burlington North Santa Fe Railroad desires to increase freight traffic from 4 to 84 trains per day. Freight traffic has already doubled since then. NCTD is "railroading" a passing track through our community to accommodate more unscheduled freight trains. Leasing the rail corridor to BNSF for freight traffic adds the most money to NCTD coffers. The resulting damage to our community is unconscionable. Hello, coastal city delegates! Have you been sleeping?

Heavy rail transportation relies on antiquated technology and cannot safely meet modern demands. Each year, over a thousand train derailments and collisions occur worldwide. Most troublesome are the frequent derailments of freight trains, associated with toxic spills and explosions, resulting in severe environmental damage and mass evacuations of residents. Freight trains regularly carry lines of tank cars filled with highly toxic and flammable chemicals. Passing thousands of tons of dangerous chemicals through densely populated communities, often only yards from people's bedrooms, is a crime against local residents.

Dietmar Rothe, Ph.D.
Professional Engineer and Research Scientist
October 2003

1 comment:

  1. worried citizenJune 21, 2005 5:18 PM

    So grateful for Dietmar's thoughtful, logical, yet alarming comments. It is hard to know whether City Council is closing its collective minds and ears to our well-researched objections, or itis somehow being "paid off."


Thank you for posting on the Leucadia Blog.
There is nothing more powerful on this Earth than an anonymous opinion on the Internet.
Have at it!!!