Oil explosion imperils downtown

By From page A6 | March 20, 2014

The following is excerpted from comments to the Davis City Council:

I want to share my thoughts about oil tanker trains coming through the city of Davis.

If they are not stopped from coming through Davis, then I will have to find alternatives to shopping downtown. The AT&T store on F Street has an alternate on Pole Line near Cowell, Subway has an alternate on Chiles and Mace, I will sadly miss the Bistro 33, Tucos and Café Bernardo. I will miss de Luna Jewelers on Second Street, and The Avid Reader bookstore.

I will never again drive through the tunnel under the railroad tracks from Richards Boulevard to downtown, and I’ll miss getting those good hamburgers at In-N-Out. I’ll have to get my car washed somewhere else than the carwash on Third Street or do it myself, instead of chancing being engulfed in an oil explosion conflagration sitting trapped in my car.

Does this seem to be overreaction? Well, I haven’t gotten to my ripe old age of 89 by being careless about my personal safety.
And that’s just what you will be doing to Davis residents if you let oil tanker trains pass through our town. Sooner or later, there will be a tragedy, and downtown Davis will be gone. It’s not a question of if it will happen, but when it will happen.

Can all those stores afford to rebuild? How much business will they lose, and how many customers will find alternatives and won’t come back?

I beg you to somehow find a way, a miracle, to stop the oil tanker trains from coming through our lovely city of Davis. Canada seems to have stopped them from transporting by pipeline through Canada and the United States, so they are shifting to rail shipment, using dangerously flimsy tanker cars to ship through the cities and towns of the U.S.

Those tanker cars can’t, logistically, be improved for years, maybe even scores of years. But if enough towns won’t allow them transit, they’ll have to find some other way. That’s their problem, and we shouldn’t let them make it our problem.

Francis Resta

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