This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.
Lakewood officials are absolutely right to challenge the state’s proposed Point Defiance bypass project that would send Amtrak passenger trains hurtling through the city at 79 mph. They would be seriously remiss if they didn’t.
At first glance, at least, Lakewood stands to shoulder all the negatives of the project – noise, traffic disruptions, safety threats – while reaping few if any discernible benefits. The Amtrak trains are not currently scheduled to stop in Lakewood, so residents who want to ride to Portland and points south would actually have to go north to Tacoma to board and backtrack through Lakewood on their trip.
It’s easy to see the appeal of the bypass for the state, Amtrak and the Port of Tacoma. It would separate passenger and freight trains that currently share tracks that wind around Point Defiance and along the shores of Puget Sound.
With the passenger trains shifted to the inland route through South Tacoma, Lakewood and DuPont, more freight service could be added on the Point Defiance tracks. And Amtrak trains that wouldn’t have to slow down around the Point Defiance curves would get from Seattle to Portland six minutes faster. Read more »