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Friends of Smart letter to Press Democrat re. proposal to remove tracks/build trail on them

08.03.22 - To: The Press Democrat


Your Editorial of June 6 rightly celebrated the apparent demise of the proposed coal train to the Port of Humboldt Bay. But let’s not “throw the baby out with the bath water.” The SMART train is our future, and its tracks carry goods as well as people. The emissions produced by cars and trucks are responsible for half of California's harm to the climate, and heavy trucks do great damage to roads. We need to get as many trucks off the road as possible; and restoring rail service into Mendocino County--at least as far as Willits--offers many benefits.

The proposal to remove the tracks or build a trail on top of them could postpone or likely eliminate those benefits. The extra cost of locating a trail next to the tracks will pay dividends long into the future. An additional bonus is the possibility of reviving the tourist trains that once brought visitors to Sonoma and Mendocino Counties.

Jack Swearengen



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