Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Intermodal Insanity

Residents of Elkridge are organizing to oppose a proposed CSX intermodal terminal in Hanover on the Howard / Arundel border. According to this story by Larry Carson in The Sun, the opponents believe “all-day, all-night movement of heavy metal containers by large cranes would create constant noise and congestion…”


The site under consideration in Hanover is along the CSX main line, a primary freight line. Already trains pass through this area twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, blowing their diesel air horns as they approach the at-grade railroad crossing at Hanover Road. It is also adjacent to over a million square feet of warehouse space and two interstate highways. To say that an intermodal facility is not compatible with the neighborhood is a bit of a stretch.

The opponents also claim that the Hanover site is “surrounded by a substantial residential community.”

Not quite. As evidenced in the aerial, there are maybe 50 houses on the opposite side of the railroad tracks. I wouldn’t exactly call that “surrounding” the site. Also, the proposed CSX site sits lower than the houses and the existing track, as the site slopes down from the tracks towards Race Road. This would even lessen the potential noise impact on those few homes which also sit behind a tree buffer.

The Hanover site is one of four sites being considered by CSX. Wherever this facility lands it will be an economic plum for the area, bringing good jobs and increasing the the highly desirable commercial tax base.  Instead of opposing this facility, we should be embracing it.

But don’t just take my word for it. Go check it out for yourself. I think you’ll find the concerns of these intermodal opponents to be greatly overstated.
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