Lately, while driving into Spokane from Cheney, I see many oil and coal trains crossing downtown Spokane. Last Thursday, two stationary coal trains could be seen from the Community Building on Main Street.
More and more people are concerned about the great increase in train traffic in the area. Therefore, I strongly urge Mayor David Condon and Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart to set up a task force to study impacts, make recommendations and enact regulations to ensure the safety of people downtown.
Among other questions: How many people live, work and play within one-half mile of the tracks that wind through downtown Spokane that could be affected by a mile- to mile-and-a-half-long train disaster? Thousands?
Another question: How many trains per day should be allowed to run through Spokane? As far as I know, there is no limit.
Thirdly, how many trains other than coal and oil carry hazardous chemicals? Union Pacific spokesperson Brock Nelson assured me that first responders are notified when hazardous materials are being carried.
There are many other concerns that need to be addressed now, before it is too late to protect our citizens.