Letter to the Editor

Your view: Standing by Sikeston

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

In light of recent developments concerning Union Pacific Railroad's plan to increase train traffic through Sikeston, I am writing to once again state that ever since I was made aware of Union Pacific's plan, I have been adamantly opposed to the idea. In late April I sent a letter to the Surface Transportation Board encouraging the members to consider an alternative Union Pacific route that does not go through the center of town.

Most of my opposition is based on safety concerns. Although Union Pacific is undeniably a vital transporter of commodities in this country, I do not know of anyone who welcomes a train running through their backyard, across the street from their business, or near their nursing home or school.

Railroads near dense populations are disruptive and a risk. The noise and general safety issues are enough cause to consider a reroute, but added to the fact that more trains rolling through the area will lengthen the response time for emergency personnel, we have a true problem on our hands.

And in this case, the problem can be solved. There are other viable options that will be good for the railroad and good for Sikeston. As I have been saying for the past two months, I am on board with the city's proposal to return to the original plan of doubletracking the Dexter-Rockview line. This isn't just a matter of inconvenience. This is a matter of Sikeston residents having the right to quality lives, which include having safe neighborhoods and reliable emergency services.

Jason Crowell State Senator -- 27th District