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The bigger picture in the CN debate
Letter to the Editor
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Published: 9/30/2008 12:07 AM

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Lake Zurich Trustee Jim Johnson's letter ("CN not operating in good faith," Aug. 22) demonstrates he is not a "big picture" thinker.

If he were, that would help him to understand the safety and economic realities that make freight traffic necessary. Rather, he appears have a parochial concern only about the minimal effects of the CN rerouting to his community.

The trouble is, surface transportation in our nation is approaching a crossroads. Planning agency reports published in the last several years repeat one common theme: the need to improve the surface transportation of goods in our region or risk dire economic consequences.

Railroads provide a dedicated right of way that safely and effectively moves these goods, which is positive for business and consumers. The "safely" part is obvious, but there are very clear economic benefits too, which are especially important now while we all are suffering our country's economic slowdown.

We need to make better use of the infrastructure we already have for the betterment of all of our businesses and for the cost savings passed on to us consumers. If goods don't move by rail, they will move by truck - and we are all concerned with fighting for space on the roads.

The cost for over-the-road goods movement continues to soar, with those costs inevitably passed on to us consumers. CN is proposing a way to keep more trucks off the road.

Trustee Johnson also seems to be concerned about Metra's proposed STAR line. But the STAR line is not at all compromised by the acquisition of the EJ&E by CN.

Trustee Johnson, I know you have to look out for the good of your community. However, the needs of the region and our country are such that we need to find ways for this to happen.

Take a look at the bigger picture, please.

Anthony E. Catania

Buffalo Grove