Bruce Agnew, Director of Cascadia Center at Discovery Institute, just released the statement below regarding todays news that the Port of Seattle will acquire the BNSF rail corridor. Media calls may be directed directly to Bruce Agnew on this issue at 206.228.4011.
OFFICIAL STATEMENT: BRUCE AGNEW, CASCADIA CENTER AT DISCOVERY INSTITUTE
The idea of having public employees excise and remove track from any part of the Eastside rail corridor is reprehensible. But the deal penned today between the Port of Seattle, Burlington Northern Santa Fe and King County puts us that much closer to such a reality. While we certainly understand that the line will need to be temporarily cut at the Wilburton Tunnel for the extension of Interstate 405, the idea of ripping up 31 miles of track between Renton and Woodinville is abhorrent. Our region desperately needs to maintain this corridor for both rails and trails. The decision to keep the corridor in public ownership is a good one, but the notion that once removed, rails can or will be put back in place is insincere and problematic. Recent history shows that this is rarely the case. All evidence points to the fact that we must maintain this critical transportation route for the Puget Sound region. In addition, in case of an earthquake or other natural disaster, the Eastside rail corridor could provide an important through route for first responders, citizens and emergency services. Todays Memorandum of Understanding, while done with good intent, fails to make full use of a critical corridor. -Bruce Agnew, Director, Cascadia Center at Discovery Institute
You can read more about Cascadia Centers vision for the Eastside rail corridor at the two links below or on our Web site “Rail” page.
SEATTLE TIMES: “Preserve Eastside Rail Line For Snohomish Transit Link;
PUGET SOUND BUSINESS JOURNAL: “Rails And Trails Could Coexist Easily On Eastside.”