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Highway 56

I just had two lovely ladies speak to me briefly on my front porch about the proposed plans to turn U.S. 56 into a four lane highway, due to anticipated intermodal traffic. Clearly, I am not remotely informed as this was a surprise to me...

I certainly had realized that the would be increased truck traffic on 56 (regardless of what the planners have stated); I have wondered why it was necessary to increase the speed limit and guessed it was due to anticipated traffic, but I had NO idea that I could now anticipate a raging highway one block behind my house.

Anyone have any further info about this? Any cries of agnst regarding a four-lane anything running through Baldwin? Is it bunk? Is it true? I'll have a call into KDOT come Monday, but as for now, I'm wondering if anyone else has any information they wouldn't mind sharing.

Yikes.

November 14, 2009

Questions

Comments

jmyrick 4 years, 11 months ago

Hey, hip, slow down. There is a study going on regarding U.S. 56. I'm guessing that's what was going on with these two lovely ladies.

We've documented the whole thing. Try the archives. Have we seen the Intermodel happen? No. Will we? Who knows? I don't think we'll see U.S. 56 as a four lane no matter what.

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hipgrrrrl 4 years, 11 months ago

For anyone that has any concerns about the Intermodal and the affect it may or may not have on Baldwin City should contact www.helpairwater.com. They are a grassroots organization who is trying to stop the Intermodal. Additionally, KDOT's site regarding the aforementioned study of U.S. 56 is located at: www.us56corridorplan.org.

While I recognize that there are pleny of people who would like the Intermodal put in due to perceived value to our community, BSNF doesn't seem to be going about it in an upfront and moral fashion - particularly in regards to the affect it would have on environmental issues on the site and surrounding area. Since we WILL see an impact should the Intermodal be built, I think it is in the best interest of our community to do whatever we can to make sure that BSNF puts in a safe facility that adheres to any and all regulations put in place by our governing bodies.

I am certainly concerned about the "green" issues, but a real-time concern for me is the impact of increased traffic using U.S. 56. I live one block of Ames and already have fears regarding the soon-to-be abandoned elementary school and the impact it will have on my plummeting home value. Added noise pollution from truck traffic day and night isn't going to help me any.

An increase in truck traffic (which equals noise and visual pollution and health problems) along 56 should concern everyone who lives close to this road - and lots of us do live close enough to be affected by this issue.

One thing I do know about government is that if we all sit back to see what the "study" shows, it often becomes too late to make sure our opinion is heard prior to plans being formulated.

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greyghost 4 years, 11 months ago

Hip,

I'm glad you didn't let Jeff put you at ease with his arrogance. I like how he tries to sell the idea that he is an expert on this issue, e.g., "We've documented the whole thing. Try the archives."

Maybe this, taken from the Comprehensive Plan Report, will put you at ease: "Increased traffic volumes along U.S. Highway 56 could warrant the need for an alternate truck route (by-pass) and/or reduced speed limit along the highway with Baldwin City’s city limits."

I believe this "alternate truck route" will run south of the city. So, just don't buy any property south of town! Hipgrrrrl, you should be alright.

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jmyrick 4 years, 11 months ago

That's exactly what I told the Gardner people, too, about the comprehensive plan. There's no way a four-lane U.S. 56 is coming through Baldwin City.

I talked to the KDOT spokesperson yesterday and she assured me that there are absolutely no plans for a four-lane at this point. Another huge factor is that given our state's financial shape, there's no money for anything.

Of course, that's now. If and when the intermodal happens, who knows? But I do know what a long process it is to get a new highway. The U.S. 59 situation dragged for 20-plus years. And let's not forget the South Lawrence Trafficway.

And, yes, we've documented all of that. It's in the archives. That's not arrogance, it's a fact.

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hipgrrrrl 4 years, 11 months ago

I will admit that my preference would certainly be a alternative truck route to the south of BC. It's unlikely that all Baldwinites share that sentiment :).

I concur that we probably won't end up with a four-lane highway running through Baldwin. However, my increased knowledge about the Intermodal plans and the KDOT study of the 56 corridor has made me ponder the effect of the truck traffic on 56 when the Intermodal is built. Unless BNSF is stopped by the courts (apparently there are a few national enviromental groups involved), it seems likely they will build this bemouth where they want to - they are BNSF, after all.

Whether it occurs in two years, five years or 10 years there will be increased truck traffic driving almost directly behind my house. BNSF has predicted that within 20 years, there will be a total of 60,000 "runs" daily at/from their facility. According to their chart, approximately 32,000 - 35,000 of these "runs" will be to off-site locations. It has been said that 80% of the expected truck traffic will use I-35. When one looks at the projected numbers, the remaining 20% that will be going off on other roads is significant. How many of these trucks will be disturbing me? Too many, that's how many :).

Additionally, the Intermodal will continue to increase in size as time goes on. It is not impossible that other railways will also become involved over time. As the Intermodal evolves, U.S. 56 will be changed to accomodate the use of it and we will see changes. Unfortunately, I can see little positive change in the fact that more semis will be driving through Baldwin...well, unless the drivers are stopping to buy drinks at the gas station and paying sales tax for my new walking trail :).

Sheesh. I've never had any desire to be an activist, but this might warrant some activist-like behavior.

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hipgrrrrl 4 years, 11 months ago

Oh, criminy. Before I get flamed, please note that I meant to type: "behemoth".

Whew.

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jen 4 years, 11 months ago

I heard there was a meeting last night on this. hipgrrrl, did you go? I was not even aware of it until this morning. Hopefully the paper can get something wrote up on this with the facts. It is nice to hear that some are finally on board with the size and negative affects of the intermodal.

This facility is going in and the trucks will come straight through Baldwin. Considering this is a small community and the speed limits slow down through the town these trucks will be idling a lot. Isn't that great news for our school children? I'm sure they along with their parents will be thrilled to know they get to play outside next to the semi's and take in what they are putting out.

I completely agree. It is time people become aware of this and speak up. Nothing is set in stone yet. Speak up to KDOT and the Army Corp before it is too late.

BNSF has been somewhat shady from the environmental side. They have weaved in and out of what they were presenting to the army corp of engineers. If you look at the the documents and compare it to the california intermodals one can clearly see it does not add up.

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greyghost 4 years, 11 months ago

jen says: "Hopefully the paper can get something wrote up on this with the facts."


HaaahahaHHHaaahhhhahahhHaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahHa....... (Oh, it's in the archives!)

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jmyrick 4 years, 11 months ago

Correct. What's your point? No decisions have been made on U.S. 56. None. What's your point?

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jen 4 years, 11 months ago

Oh yes, the archives. I will make sure to reread them. Exactly my point. You are right - no decisions have been made at this point giving the citizens a Baldwin a chance to speak up and voice concerns and thoughts. Sad thing about this is there are still many in this community that have no idea that the intermodal is coming. And there are those who know its coming in but do not realize that these trucks will be using 56. When you mention 56 then people get concerned. We need to be concerned and INFORMED on this now before KDOT ends up making all the decisions which may not be in our favor. Enough pressure and voices along with all those in gardner and edgerton could help persuade KDOT a bit.

I doubt there will be 4 lanes coming through Baldwin. Not realistic. So that means even more backing up of idling dieseled trucks. Hope the new school puts in a good air filtration system. They will need it.

hipgrrrl - thanks for passing on the information with the facts. Hopefully some of this will get into the hands of Baldwin residents before its too late. This information needs to get out.

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hipgrrrrl 4 years, 11 months ago

Yes, I did go to the meeting and it was educational - the water runoff issues regarding the proposed site as stated by the Sierra Club rep were extremely informative...and somewhat startling. It also inspired me to do some muddling around online to see what I could find from KDOT, BNSF and other sources.

Jeff, any thoughts on an article presenting information on the anticipated volume of truck traffic on county roads when/if the Intermodal is put in? How about something about the Army Corp of Engineers 404 permit that's under such scrunity? I know there's been a ton of stuff printed about the Intermodal when Gardener first decided to accept it, but that's been a while. There have been quite interesting and informative things written up in the KC Tribune and some blog on the Pitch regarding more current issues - particularly the environmental stuff. I'm getting the feeling that you might think these concerns I've voiced are alarmist :), but I do think that being prepared to fight a worst case scenario is more sensible than waiting to complain about it after it happens.

It's not just additional filtration at the schools. We also have to be concerned about the air quality around our kid's spankin' new ball fields that are all right on 56 - should we face any of these issues regarding increased truck traffic on U.S. 56, that is.

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jen 4 years, 11 months ago

I completely agree. I began "preaching" about this on this site well over a year ago. Things have changed drastically since then. You are right, Kansas City, NPR, and many other papers and sites have been writing up and keeping many informed on this. Why would you not write something up on this when we will be the ones directly affected?

hipgrrrl - what are your suggestions on how to get the word out? Is there a person in Baldwin who is working with the Sierra group? Is there a realistic way to get this information out to the parents of school children.

I worry first about the health of the children. Then real estate values. It is already expensive living in Baldwin but many do because of its appeal and family setting. Throw these trucks into the mix and I suspect some will leave.

Jeff, anything you can do to help out?

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jmyrick 4 years, 11 months ago

Hipgrrrrl, I would say your alarmist tag for U.S. 56 is borderline. I think it's easy to hear the Gardner peoples' claims that truck traffic will be the end of the world and take it for gospel. It's not. I talked to a couple of them this week and even they admitted that 70-80 percent of the trucks will be getting on I-35.

What you probably also didn't hear from them was an actual plan to improve the blacktop road that goes north out of Edgerton so trucks could get to I-70 on it to go west. That makes a heck of a lot more sense than taking U.S. 56 for many reasons. Common sense needs to come into this equation. That includes the simple fact that the state is basically broke. There is no money for something like is going on with U.S. 59, which took 20-30 years to happen. It was also already funded before the well went dry.

And, let's face it, it's speculation -- just like you said with "when/if the intermodal is put in." I appreciate the Gardner peoples' concern. That's where the water issues are, not here. They have a mess on their hands. I really don't think we do. When/if it happens, yes, I think we'd have increased truck traffic. But nothing to the point that it would be an air-quality problem. The gloom-and-doom folks paint a picture of bumper-to-bumper trucks idling through town spewing fumes. Ask a truck driver if he'd do that. No. Time is money.

I talked to the KDOT spokesperson again today about the situation. The concern is all the misinformation that's out there on this. The problem is if you address it every time it comes up, that's all you'd do. That's why I'll wait until the study is completed before getting too concerned.

As for property value concerns, which Jen just brought up again before I could finish this, again use a little common sense. Right now, in this economy, your home isn't worth what it should be. If the 8,000 to 11,000 jobs are created by intermodal happen, don't you think your value would at least go back to what it was and more likely increase greatly? I do.

But, again, this is all speculation. Everyone wants "facts." As near as I can tell at this point, that's the only fact there is -- speculation.

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Still_Pool 4 years, 11 months ago

There already is a route to the south of Baldwin. It's called Ottawa...

SP

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jen 4 years, 11 months ago

Jeff, I appreciate your calmness on this issue and can understand why you feel the way you do. You obviously have learned through your work not to jump the gun.

However, I feel this is still one matter that needs to be thought about before it actually happens. A few things to point out.

About the highway north of edgerton. It is sunflower road and actually does not go all the way through to K10. It actually stops in the middle of nowhere. If KDOT does not have the money to improve 56 then I suspect they do not have the money to make entire new roads, buy up farmland and homesteads. In order for that even to be an option K10 must first go through the outskirts of Lawrence. I may be wrong on this but from what I heard there are possible lawsuits on that issue. I also suspect KDOT has more money than most of us think.

As for JOBS. Roughly 250 will actually be brought to the actual intermodal sight. The 8,000 plus jobs that are speculated consist of gas station and truck stop workers, weight stations, police and security officers, actual semi drivers and so on. These will be scattered through out Kansas and I35 and I70. Warehouse workers will be another group. These could be anywhere. Including Topeka, Ottawa, KCK, and so on. The 250 workers will likely end up commuting as I doubt they would wish to live near the facility. Same way that many from Baldwin choose to commute to the Kansas City area. We choose not to live in Kansas City area for a reason. So I do not feel this will by any means increase property values.

If they do not build near Gardner they will most likely build at the other looked at sight. Wellsville North which is even closer to Baldwin.

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jmyrick 4 years, 11 months ago

Jen, you raise some good issues. I'm guessing that you're the "Jennifer" that called KDOT this week. They have actually called me twice this week, which is very odd. That's because of the misinformation going around with the intermodal.

I'd like to know where you're getting your information on jobs created, etc. I find it interesting, but I wonder about where it comes from. A "sky is falling" Web site, perhaps? Be careful about where you get your information on this. I know I have. Same is true with the Wellsville North location you've thrown out. Where did you get that, the Gardner "sky is falling" people?

Obviously, you are concerned about this and are watching it closely. Good for you. I have been for years. I truly do not know what to believe and what will happen. What I do know is this is all speculation.

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jen 4 years, 11 months ago

I completely agree that it is important to be careful about the information you believe. It leads to a lot of misconceptions.

KDOT is probably concerned as people are beginning to learn more and speak up. Enough pressure will make anyone itchy. However, no it was not me who called KDOT. Someone must have my "stage name".

The wellsville North Location was second runner up for possible locations. The information can be found here.

http://www.edgertonks.org/

Click on the BNSF Project Site at the left. Then click on the USACE Draft Environmental Assessment. It is a large file so may take awhile to download. The Alternative Sites, including wellsville, are looked at Beginning at section 2-4 located at the bottom of the pages.

Here is another direct link http://www.nwk.usace.army.mil/regulatory/BNSF/Draft_EA.pdf

And in the last few months the KC Star, Fox 4, and several others have reported on the alternative wellsville sight as being a possible option if the environmental permit is not granted. Here is an article I just pulled up. The mentioning of wellsville is at the bottom of the article.

http://www.ble-t130.org/railway-news/54-gardner-intermodal-duel-round-2

As for jobs. The economic impact report shows that there will be 250 jobs at the actual Intermodal facility. And 4200 for the logistics part. The logistics consists of warehouses which in the article says will be built "in close proximity". I know Ottawa is welcoming more warehousing like the walmart one they already have. And same with the topeka area. This could all be talk but supposedly home depot and others are looking at that area for warehousing with regards to the proposed intermodal. Logistics can go in anywhere. If the semi's pick up or drop off coincide with the intermodal than it's considered a "job" by the intermodal. Not necessarily a job at the actual facility. That is how I understand it. I also just found out that construction workers needed to build this sight are also included in the projected jobs. Once the facility is build these jobs will move on to other things.

Again, the Economic Report is located on the Edgerton, Kansas intermodal page. It is the bottom link.

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jmyrick 4 years, 11 months ago

Good stuff, Jen. But, again, I'll say speculation. Agreed?

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greyghost 4 years, 11 months ago

Jen, I'm impressed. Thank you for the information.

Jeff, what is your new role here on this site? Are you trying to get less traffic? Are you trying to quell conversations and information? Jen brought up Wellsville and you called her out for "speculation/scare tactics/misinformation." She then rebutted with her sources and links and all you can come back with is "speculation. . . agree?"

Just admit that you were wrong and that Jen knows perhaps more than you on the subject (even though you have covered this for years). We're all really impressed, by the way.

Also, don't you have an "Our View Editorial" to write up on Turkey dinner and how tryptophan makes you wanna go nigh-nigh? Or, maybe you could step outside and take a picture of what the weather looks like infront of the post office?

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LSM 4 years, 11 months ago

I have attended the Gardner-Edgerton KDOT meetings. I was there when the term four lane divided highway was used. If you go to www.us56corridorplan.org you will find many terms have been used even six lanes. If we wait until KDOT has finished their study to be involved it's too late. It has been my experience that the outcome of the study is usually what gets built. KDOT's timeline does not put this in the distant future either.

Jeff I do take exception with your "sky is falling" tag for our organization Hillsdale Environmental Loss Prevention (HELP). I could think up a dismissive tag for you as well but I don't think that helps the conversation. The level of research Jen has involved herself in is much more helpful. It is impressive work worthy of a journalist.

Also, our website www.helpairwater.com is the furthest thing from a "sky is falling" website. Have you actually looked at it? I applaud the people here who are looking out for themselves, their neighbors, and the future of our region. They are suggesting foresight while it appears you are suggesting hindsight. They seem to realize that"mess on their hands" isn't just Gardner or Edgerton.

An outcome of the November 18th meeting was establishing a Baldwin City Committee of HELP. The committee chair is Don Phipps who will be organizing the environmental group hipgirl says we need. She's right!

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LSM 4 years, 11 months ago

How do I make (Anonymous) read Linda Meisinger?

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jmyrick 4 years, 11 months ago

Hi Linda. Glad you joined us. It was nice talking to you the other day. You must not have filled out the registration right. You can always sign your name to posts.

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jen 4 years, 11 months ago

I am not intending to be rude. Greyghost makes a good point. Jeff, what is your role on this sight and for this town? Honestly Jeff. Now is the time to get moving on this. Anything you can do to help? The archives are old and outdated. They are great to reference but new information, facts, and studies have been done since.

Linda, how can we get in touch with Don?

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LSM 4 years, 11 months ago

Please contact me if you are interested in getting involved with the Baldwin HELP Committee and I will pass your information on to Don. Jen we sent you an email on how to contact him.

Linda Meisinger

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hipgrrrrl 4 years, 11 months ago

Ohh! I missed out on some interesting stuff the last few days. Actually, I've been doing some reading - but not enough as I've got to get my "must out-do last year's gourmet Thanksgiving" annual process going.

Anyway, what I've been trying to find info on is: Any pertinant info on what the Oklahoma City Intermodal has done to the area? I realize the Edgerton/Gardener Intermodal is going to be different, but that certainly is closer to home than the one I keep hearing about outside of LA. What is the layout there? How big was it when it started? How big did it get? What are crime rates in this sort of development and surrounding areas? Do I need to worry about this planned Intermodal being an inspection station for previously uninspected goods from South America and Asia? How do I feel about the NAFTA Super Highway - which I knew almost nothing about until this weekend :).

Actually, Jeff, I just can't see how an influx of low-skilled, low-paid warehouse workers brought in by the development of the Intermodal will improve my property values. However, your comment of KDOT "...even they admitted that 70-80 percent of the trucks will be getting on I-35" leads one back to one of my original posts on this topic. BNSF has predicted that within 20 years, they forsee approximately 35,000 truck "runs" leaving the Intermodal facility EACH DAY to travel to outlying areas. Taking KDOT's admission in combination with BNSF's prediction, that would minimally be 7,000 trucks leaving the Intermodal each day, utilizing roads other than I-35. Hello? 7,000 a day traveling on county roads trucks is a lot!

Plus, when it comes to my property values, please note I live one block off 56. I firmly believe that any increase in truck traffic on 56 will continue to erode my property value. It might not decrease yours...hence the difference in urgency we seem to hold on this topic :).

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LSM 4 years, 11 months ago

hipgrrrl, we (folks at HELP) refer to the Commerce location in California because there are some marked similarities to this location. First, it is considered an inland port, the term used by BNSF to refer to the Gardner-Edgerton intermodal. Yes, there is supposed to be an inspection / weigh station along I-35 where containers will be inspected when they arrive by truck. Moonlight Road and I-35 in Gardner was discussed at the Gardner Edgerton KDOT meeting though the Gardner mayor would like to see that inspection station move further south or be left where the current weigh station is. KDOT said the decision about location is under the jurisdiction of the KS Highway Patrol.

Another reason we use Commerce is because there is information out there available. We have often thought "if we only had the time and money to research some of these other intermodal logistics sites."

Good questions, hope they get results!

Linda Meisinger

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jmyrick 4 years, 11 months ago

A couple of clarifications, hipgrrrl. The 70-80 percent of truck traffic going onto I-35 came from the HELP people, not KDOT. Also, these will not be unskilled warehouse workers. Technology has come a long way and that includes in the warehouse.

Also, if, and it's a big if, the study finds that U.S. 56 needs to be four lane, there's a plan for it to bypass Baldwin City to the south. Honestly, there are a lot more things to be concerned with right now regarding property values than U.S. 56 becoming four lanes.

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jen 4 years, 11 months ago

Is this possible bypass to the south from KDOT or the City? Can the mayor or anyone else from the city elaborate more on this?

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LSM 4 years, 11 months ago

The 80% is from KDOT.

There is a lot going on with this intermodal development including a new interchange on I-35 since the trucks in and out of the intermodal can not be handled by what I-35 currently has. At the meeting on location of the interchange KDOT said that 80% of the intermodal traffic will be handled by I-35. Where they get that number I don't know. But that is KDOT's projection not HELP's. Jeff, we don't bring forward information that we can't source. Just like the four lane divided highway was talked about at the Gardner Edgerton KDOT meeting. That is also sourced.

Regarding the map with the bypass. It is posted at KDOT's website but it is not KDOT's map. It is a map that came from a study the city made of a thirty year projection. It is Baldwin City's map and it includes a bypass to the south. KDOT asked the city if they could use the map. The mayor explained all of this at the meeting last week. The mayor was also asked what his or the city's position was on the whole project. They said they are waiting for KDOT's study. I will get the Baldwin City map posted at our website www.helpairwater.com as soon as I can. Might not happen until tomorrow. I am kind of swamped here.

Linda

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hipgrrrrl 4 years, 11 months ago

Yeah - having that map propagated by Baldwin's long-range study on the KDOT site is misleading without a disclaimer. Jeff, just so you know, Mayor Wagner did state that KDOT requested to use that map. There are no plans, to anyone's knowledge, to actually develop that traffic corridor to the south of Baldwin.

Also, I really don't believe there will be four traffic lanes behind my house. I do, however, believe there will be increased truck traffic. I also believe that if the Intermodal goes in, there will be significantly increased use of 56. Which means that with time, 56 will be altered to accomodate that increased use. It's just how things work. I'm not so sure it's in my benefit for 56 to be changed to accomodate more traffic anywhere along it's length.

Additionally, KDOT did get their application into the feds for their $5 billion (I think that's a correct number) TIGER funding request. A portion of that is allocated to the development of the Intermodal - I just don't know what the parameters of KDOT's planned Intermodal development will be.

I think we need some investigative reporting! Hmmm...maybe I'll see if there is any help on Ron Paul's site before I get back in the kitchen...

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jmyrick 4 years, 11 months ago

I don't know if you all have seen the news out of Topeka today with the budget cuts. KDOT is losing $50 million. While that has pulled the plug on the five-county transportation study, the U.S. 56 study will continue and is expected to be completed in May. The story doesn't say the last two items, but I checked with KDOT to make sure. I'm anxious to hear those findings.

During the conversation I learned of additional highway funding problems at the federal level. Check out this link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125875581628958035.html.

Folks, like I've been saying, money is tight. Real tight. And it's getting worse before it gets better.

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LSM 4 years, 11 months ago

I read the article earlier today which brings forward the main issue - the trucks. But if I tell you what I think of it then I am going to hear from Jeff again about the "sky is falling".

If there are no funds for the interchange in Gardner then where are the trucks going to go? Representative Worley, at the last KDOT meeting, was already saying he did not know where the funds would come from for the interchange.

If 56 becomes only an "enhanced development" two lane, which means the road is packed the same depth as an interstate to bear the truck loads, those trucks are going to be going down 56 single file. That's a conjecture from me.

The KDOT funds requested for BNSF was a fifty million dollar grant for their infrastructure.

Linda

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jmyrick 4 years, 11 months ago

You're right, Linda, it continues to be conjecture. Wouldn't more conjecture be that if the I-35 interchange isn't built, the intermodal won't be built either? How much business sense does it make to have trucks backed up in the intermodal waiting for the light to change in Baldwin City?

Or, if BNSF wants the intermodal badly enough, will it pick up the tab for the interchange? Or will it wait until times are better?

More? Does the funded U.S. 56 study look at traffic with and without the interchange? If it hadn't before, will it now?

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jen 4 years, 11 months ago

These are great questions. If anyone has the answers to these questions please pass on the links or information.

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jmyrick 4 years, 11 months ago

Thanks, jen, they are good questions. Problem is they won't be answered. Why should they? Does that make sense to go public?

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LSM 4 years, 11 months ago

Conjecture aside, this is a chicken and egg situation where we do know which came first, the intermodal. Road access has been a BIG issue from the start but has never shut it down. Fact is, it's not BNSF's problem if our roads are chock-a-block with trucks. Trucks lined up down the road outside intermodals appears to be the way the business functions, sensible or not.

Here's some trivia, do you know who is really concerned about the intermodal? The truck drivers who live in this area. The strongest NIMBY response I have had is from them, and they tell me that the truck drivers will choose their own path coming and going, a direct quote from a trucker visiting the area, "You don't want that here!" KDOT has even said that the truckers will make their own paths.

I would assume that KDOT would be looking at the I-35 interchange and 56 highway in direct relationship to each other, but one thing I have learned about government organizations the past three years, assume nothing. I have been stunned by what doesn't happen unless someone asks a question. So Jeff, I hope you will be calling KDOT about this.

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GTiller 4 years, 11 months ago

In the interest of fair disclosure, the route currently planned as the "by-pass south of Baldwin" is 150th Road. That's the road adjacent to and south of the Pioneer Cemetary and the Ad Astra Alpaca Farm off of 6th Street south of town. At this point, anyone living between 150th Road and Baldwin City from about the bend in Hwy 56 east of town to out past BES-IC are within the proposed by-pass loop.

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greyghost 4 years, 11 months ago

GTiller, Thanks for taking a break from performing late-term abortions in heaven to give everyone the much needed information about the bypass!

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TheOnlyGreyghost 4 years, 11 months ago

Is it really necessary to be an ass AND an identity thief? Are you 12 or what?

To all who are looking into this, good work. I tend to have a more favorable outlook toward the intermodal, but it's good to hear what others are learning & thinking.

Gary (I assume)~ Please disregard the asinine comments above. They do not represent the thoughts of the original Speakout Greyghost. Seems we have a small-minded juvenile who couldn't come up with its own posting name when the format of this forum was changed, so it stole my name. Still trying to clarify that for newcomers or those who haven't been here for awhile.

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loosecaboose 4 years, 11 months ago

Somewhere in the archives, I have posted comments about the large increase we will have in truck traffic. There are no facilities west of Kansas City Metro area to load/unload intermodal units.No truck driver, especially contract drivers which most of them are, will pass through the I-35/I-435/I-70 corridor to unload at Lawrence, Topeka, Fort Riley, Salina, Russell or any other place in the west of K.C. They will use US 56 to US 59 or US 75. Thirty years of employment at the Union Pacific tell me this as I watched our intermodal traffic.

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jmyrick 4 years, 11 months ago

Wondered where you'd been on this, loosecaboose. With your experience, do you think the intermodal will get built if the I-35 interchange isn't built near Gardner?

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loosecaboose 4 years, 11 months ago

I sure do. The railroads don't really care how they affect those around them. Where I worked we had lights that for years blinded eastbound drivers on I-70 at 7th street in KCK, and they refused to ever do anything about it until they shut the yard down. The BNSF is determined to have this facility, and I don't think anyone except God can stop them. I must check this more often.

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jmyrick 4 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for your insight and the laugh, loose. I've said for years that the railroad will do whatever it wants, whenever it wants when people talk about stopping the intermodal. But, you put it oh so well.

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LSM 4 years, 11 months ago

I completely agree with loosecaboose's assessment of the RR's business practices. But, supposedly, Warren Buffett is buying BNSF under a banner of going green. Well then, let's have it, a full Environmental Impact Statement and Health Risk Assessment of the facility BNSF wants to build between Gardner and Edgerton. I have talked to very few people who think that is a bad idea. Even people who are favorable to the intermodal (as TheOnlyGreyghost puts it) think there needs to be a full EIS and HRA. It is the one issue both "sides" have been able to agree on. It may come down to asking a federal judge for an opinion on whether the project needs these in-depth studies. The Natural Resources Defense Council has been successful against BNSF and one of their attorney's has advised HELP not to let up until we get an EIS and HRA--she knows, as I think any rational person would know, we're in trouble without those studies.

I'm working on a Fact Sheet right now and found this for Hipgrrrrl on intermodal stats:

http://hydra.usc.edu/scehsc/web/Resources/Map/map.html

If you have time to do some research there, it would be great to hear what you come up with.

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TheOnlyGreyghost 4 years, 11 months ago

Yes, the Buffett (Berkshire) purchase earlier this month put an interesting spin on the intermodal scenario. Knowing Buffett's history of sound business management, I'm optimistic.

But, yes--as LSM and others have said, an EIS and an HRA are essential. The project could be a tremendous boon to the area's economy and provide needed employment but it needs to be done right.

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hipgrrrrl 4 years, 10 months ago

As suggested by LSM, I took a quick peek at the CCAEJ site. Just about the first thing I read was this:

"I've been a resident of the rural community of Glen Avon/Mira Loma for more than 41 years. Located next to Highway 60 and Interstate 15, our unincorporated area is the target of industrial development of massive warehouses and distribution centers. The expansion of goods imported into the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has created a demand for rail hauling of goods that has led to the expansion of the Union Pacific railyard—now the largest auto distribution center in the world.

In five years, our sleepy, agriculturally based community turned into a major industrial park. More than 120 warehouses have replaced cow pastures and vineyards. Our mountain views have been replaced by looming cement monoliths. The Union Pacific is now directly next to our high school. Hundreds of trucks park and idle 20 feet from the athletic fields where our children play.

The Inland Valleys of Riverside and San Bernardino have long had high levels of smog pollution, but recently the main focus has turned to particulate matter (PM). The World Health Organization (WHO) ranked us fourth in the world in PM pollution, after Jakarta, Indonesia; Calcutta, India; and Bangkok, Thailand. According to researchers at USC, the children in our communities have the slowest lung growth and weakest lung capacity of all children studied in Southern California. Asthma and other respiratory ailments are prevalent. Cancer risk from freight transport is 1,500 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s 'acceptable' risk levels.

With this development, our streets and rural roads have become danger zones. Residents must compete with semi trucks for space on the same roads. Horse riders navigate trails that now wind through industrial areas. Children who once enjoyed the open fields now are confined to their own backyards for recreation. We greatly fear the prediction that freight transport will increase exponentially. Our families simply can’t take any more."

  • Penny Newman, Glen Avon/Mira Loma resident and Executive Director of CCAEJ

How's that for a glowing review of the impact the Intermodal could have? Edgerton/Gardener has no idea what they're in for. Clearly, neither do we.

Must do more reading :). Thanks, Linda!

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jen 4 years, 10 months ago

Great to see you on here loosecaboose. If anyone can add a personal experience on here it is you. I agree, the railroad will do what it desires with or with out I35 interchange.

LSM, isn't there a "green" intermodal facility in california? If so how was this accomplished and are there any reports out on the environmental impacts of that particular facility? Does this facility have any green control over the trucks that enter or exit the facility?

And another question. I occasionally see No Truck Route signs posted on streets and smaller county roads. What conditions enable this to happen?

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LSM 4 years, 10 months ago

Thanks hipgrrrl for the research, five years is a stunner. I had the sense that the Baldwin city officials have no idea how fast things would change for our region. But even worse, the officials in Gardner and Edgerton refuse to acknowledge that there would ever be negative impacts at all. It's like they think they won't happen if they just ignore them. At least in Baldwin, some of your representatives seem to realize there would be a significant negative side, but they think it will happen a long time down the road and they want to wait and see. That will be too late. So, we have to do the work and then maybe we can persuade them to see it differently.

Jen, I would love to know about a green intermodal. I haven't come across it in any of my research and I have never heard it spoken of. I have sent an email to Andrea Hricko at THE Impact Project, Angelo Logan at the EYCEJ and Melissa Lin-Perrella at NRDC asking about it. Maybe there is something to follow up there.

I know that the problems have been so serious in California that many have worked to reduce the impacts the people are living with. The recent drayage truck regulations are an example. Oakland may have given some impetus to this (perhaps they are the ones being referred to as green) by banning trucks that were built before 1997 from entering their facility. Now, as of September 30, all drayage trucks in CA must be registered and retro-fitted to meet new standards or they will not be allowed at the intermodals and ports. That is my understanding of the situation, so yes, it seems there can be some controls enforced by legislation.

I believe no truck routes are accomplished through city ordinances. So, the city council could supposedly protect your residential streets from trucks using them. I don't know how difficult enforcement is. County roads are under county control. 56-highway would be under federal jurisdiction (KDOT).

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ponchovia 4 years, 8 months ago

Linda has a terrible problem of keeping her nose out of other people's business.

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