I was asked to attend the special meeting at Vandalia City Hall concerning the railroad crossings, because I live on Sixth Street, which would be affected by the proposal offered to Vandalia.
Of course, I am opposed to making Sixth Street one way, because I own property on it, but I am also opposed to any street changes that decrease the efficiency of our city and the loss of business and property values by those affected by these street changes.
When I got to city hall, I was under the impression that we would be offered two plans.
But, when the representatives from the state started their presentation, it was quickly revealed their plan was a combination of both plans, with emphasis on only railroad safety and cost, with no regard to the impact it will have on our community and its visitors.
They may be experts in the field of railroad safety, but they sure did not impress me at the meeting. From their presentation, it’s obvious they did no impact studies on our community or even investigate what happened at the accident.
They just implied that we would get used to their changes, and railroad safety came first. Solving their problem by creating more problems in the community is not a solution.
My confidence in their expertise went out the window when a question was asked about train speed limits. I would think being a railroad safety expert, the representative would know railroad track classes and the maximum speed a train can go on each class. He did state the track was class 4, but seemed to not know the speed limit, finally saying 50 miles per hour. It’s 60 miles per hour.
Our community should commend the people who attended the meeting and the city council for their suggestions and pointing out facts, hopefully making the representatives realize the proposal they submitted will not work.
But before this is over from their implied threats and attitude toward our community, we may find out the real meaning of “being railroaded.”
Ken Hubler, Vandalia