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North Shore NIMBYs win train fight during election year

Monday, Sep 10, 2018

* Sorry for the cynical headline, but c’mon

Gov. Bruce Rauner and top Illinois Dept. of Transportation officials called for a halt to Amtrak Hiawatha Line expansion project plans, which include building freight holding tracks in Glenview and Lake Forest, until concerns by the two towns are given more study.

“We have heard loud and clear the concerns expressed by Lake Forest and Glenview,” Rauner said in a written statement issued late Friday, Sept. 7. “We listened to you. Clearly, a timeout on this project is needed so you can get the answers you deserve. This project will not proceed until that happens.” […]

Since a plan to expand Amtrak Hiawatha service between Chicago and Milwaukee from seven round trips (14 trains) to 10 round trips (20 trains per day) was announced in 2016, which included adding tracks to hold freight trains in Glenview, Northbrook, Lake Forest and Bannockburn, leaders and residents in those communities have expressed serious concerns about potential impacts from noise, vibration, pollution from diesel engines and impacts to traffic as trains slow to enter and exit holding tracks.

In Glenview, six neighborhoods would be impacted by a proposed two-mile holding track, which would run from West Lake Avenue to Willow Road. Additionally, trains which were moving at 50 mph through the village would now be slowing in and out of that holding area, affecting rail crossings at West Lake.

* Tribune

To build the freight train holding track, a 20-foot retaining wall would need to be built to hold the rail bed, officials said. Building the retaining wall would mean the green space that provides a buffer between the nearby residential areas and the existing tracks would be cut down.

* Patch

“The combination of Metra’s opposition to a third main for at least a few decades, and IDOT now stepping back from approving an [environmental assessment] for the foreseeable future, effectively defers such a project being approved for a very long time, if ever,” [Lake Forest Mayor Rob Lansing] said, in response to Blankenhorn’s letter.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

26 Comments »
  1. - VanillaMan - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 12:49 pm:

    Lake Forest residents are concerned that additional traffic could impact the real estate values of the gatehouses on their properties.


  2. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 12:52 pm:

    An increase from seven rounders a day to ten? Oh, the humanity — those train whistles totally disrupt spa days and yoga classes.

    Rauner moves like lightnin’ when it comes to Glenview and Lake Forest.

    Quincy, not so much.


  3. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 12:56 pm:

    Jobs, transportation, veterans. What can’t Rauner kill?


  4. - 47th Ward - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 12:58 pm:

    ===“We have heard loud and clear the concerns expressed by Lake Forest and Glenview,” Rauner said.===

    He can’t even go grocery shopping at his neighborhood Jewel without getting an earful about this. Diana has been especially vocal. Seems she hasn’t been invited to the better cocktail parties because of this mess.

    You simply don’t park freight trains on the north shore darling. How gauche. Plus, only the little people take trains.


  5. - Ok - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 1:01 pm:

    Funny how this never works in Little Cillage, or Brighton Park, or the Southeast Side.

    Choosing between expanded mass transit and local noise and pollution impacts shouldn’t have to be an either or.

    Give those locomotives electric shoring power so they dont have to ‘idle’. Find a different way.


  6. - DuPage Bard - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 1:06 pm:

    Thank goodness the North Shore won’t be negatively impacted as the State moves to an increased transportation infrastructure.
    I would hate to think that Diana would have to hear how bad the train noise is at her cocktail parties in Winnetka and Lake Forest. Could put a huge damper on their Saturday nights.


  7. - Steve - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 1:15 pm:

    Amtrak , which has never turned a profit , runs into an obstacle….


  8. - Louis G. Atsaves - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 1:19 pm:

    At the western Lake Forest station, only the commuter trains stop. A few recent deaths/injuries of pedestrians who thought the train would stop at the station have occurred.

    In Glenview, a freight train derailed a few years ago on an old bridge, causing the deaths of two in an auto below. The bridges owned by the railroads are ancient, yet the train companies assure everyone they are still safe.

    Both do not sound very NIMBY. Both have been controversies in their areas for a lengthy period of time.


  9. - Tony Kendall - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 1:23 pm:

    North Shore Nimbys = band name


  10. - Helm - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 1:31 pm:

    This could be the largest public health crisis to hit wealthy neighborhoods since the Great Gelato Shortage suffered by the Gold Coast residents in the Summer of 2017!!


  11. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 1:31 pm:

    It’s almost like he’s running for Governor of Lake County, and hopes voters in the other 101 counties will support him, too.


  12. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 1:35 pm:

    wonder what costume he wears in Lake Forest.


  13. - Skeptic - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 1:41 pm:

    “could impact the real estate values of the gatehouses on their properties.” I think we found another way to lower one’s property taxes…


  14. - JS Mill - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 1:46 pm:

    If only the Quincy Vet’s Home was a train passing through southern Lake county……..


  15. - Bobby T - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 2:04 pm:

    Gatsby would not approve.

    Ergo, Diana — like Daisy — meows her disapproval.

    Now, like Nick, commonsense has prevailed and they can gaze out over their backyards at the blinking lights in the infinite distance and relfect on the truism that, yeah, being rich and wealthy and white has its benefits — and will always have its benefits.


  16. - KBS - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 2:20 pm:

    This is infuriating! The trains they run now are very crowded, and this well-run and well-used service desperately needs to be expanded. What a horrible, short sighted decision.


  17. - Old and In The Way - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 2:52 pm:

    “What a horrible, short sighted decision.” From the governor who has made nothing but horrible short sighted decisions. No surprise here.


  18. - Lefty Lefty - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 3:33 pm:

    We were fortunate to go to Europe last year to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Landed in Amsterdam, hopped on a train to Bruges. (Note: 2 different countries.) Less than 3 hours later, I met my wife who had been working in northern Germany at the station. She took a similar train ride from there.

    After Bruges we went back to Amsterdam, then from there to Utrecht. Trains all the time, everywhere, to take you anywhere. You know you can take a train from Amsterdam to London in under 4 hours?

    Maybe if we still ran them on coal here in the US….


  19. - stateandlake - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 3:51 pm:

    Maybe Glenview hasn’t figured out that they capacity constraints on the line south of Techny, where one of the third tracks is proposed, already has the Canadian Pacific running more freight trains out the east end of their yard and up the Metra line, causing additional delay to the Glenview Road crossing. Oops.


  20. - anon2 - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 4:42 pm:

    It is legitimate to consider environmental concerns. The problem is that poor neighborhoods are subject to far more environmental harms than wealthy ones, so the concern is selective.


  21. - Mejai - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 4:43 pm:

    This article only has some information and is missing the real argument. No one minds the increase in Metra service; it is the increase in unsafe “bomb” oil and other freight trains that is objectionable. The third rail is needed to park additional freight trains that Canadian Pacific wants to run. CP can have their trains parked (for hours)and polluting all along the route while the faster Metra and Amtrak leapfrog past.


  22. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 5:13 pm:

    Diesels don’t have to run during the winter or summer at night anymore.

    At least Metra has figured how to get rid of that noise and pollution.


  23. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 5:56 pm:

    So the people from these suburbs got involved and put pressure on their elected representatives for an issue that impacts their health and quality of life, so what? Good for them.

    As far as the Glenview village trustees, I’ve found most to be responsive and accessible. The only one I’ve found to be an unhelpful old bird dropping who needs to retire is Philip O’ C. White. Never understood the middle initial in the name either. Using middle initial a holdover from the 1960s, like W. Clement Stone, to sound important?


  24. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 10, 18 @ 11:23 pm:

    –wonder what costume he wears in Lake Forest.–

    It ain’t King David or Moshe Dayan, I guarantee you, in that neighborhood.

    Not Golda Meier, either, that socialist union rabble-rouser from up yonder in Milwaukee.

    Sid Luckman couldn’t buy a house in Lake Forest, back in the day.

    Picking up what I’m putting down?


  25. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Sep 11, 18 @ 8:26 am:

    There’s a lot more moving parts to this issue — it’s hardly about any additional Amtrak trains (which are underutilized to begin with), but the additional freight traffic and miles long holding tracks. There was also a lot of shady stuff going on including Lake Forest’s city manager and attorney who were funneling money to federal transportation lobbyists, unbeknownst to the city council, in order to get the Amtrak stop — the city attorney resigned and I think the manager is stepping down as well.


  26. - KBS - Tuesday, Sep 11, 18 @ 9:19 am:

    “…it’s hardly about any additional Amtrak trains (which are underutilized to begin with)…” Why do you say that? I’ve ridden that way many times, and the trains are always crowded. I know people in Milwaukee who travel frequently to Chicago for meetings, and the fact that there’s no train going north between 5:30pm and 8:00pm makes that much more difficult. Having just 1 or 2 more trains during rush hour could really help freeway congestion.


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