As reported in my story today, Lakewood residents and their elected leaders voiced their concerns over the state Department of Transportation’s plan to reroute passenger train service through their community.
Monday night’s tight deadline meant I had to leave out most of the back and forth between the city and DOT representatives from the meeting.
Councilman Walter Neary urged the 50 or so people who attended, the majority of whom said they opposed the Point Defiance Bypass project, to write their elected federal and state leaders who might have more pull.
He reiterated his comments today on his blog, Neary-Sighted:
People pleaded with the Lakewood City Council to do something, and we will do our best. However, as I told them, the best and most effective approach is to write federal and state officials. Those folks don’t give a darn about the Lakewood City Council. But some of them either do care, or at least keep track of, what citizens say. If nothing else, the act of writing is a great thing to tell children about to let them know that you’re acting on behalf of democracy. And if you are a registered voter and actually vote, I’d include that in the letter.
It’s unclear whether those efforts would affect the future of the project — which the state determined would have no major impact on the area’s roads two years ago.
On Monday night, DOT representatives told the City Council that the benefits of rerouting trains through Lakewood are worth it. They include reducing the ride from Seattle to Portland by six minutes, as well a freeing up the track through Ruston and Point Defiance for freight traffic.