Tonight, Monday, October 2, from 6:30 – 8 pm in the Westport Town Hall Auditorium (110 Myrtle Avenue), Gregory Stroud will be joining First Selectman Jim Marpe for a presentation on plans for constructing a new rail corridor through Fairfield County. We hope for a lively Q&A. Please come out, and invite your friends!

Tonight, Monday, October 2, from 6:30 – 8 pm in the Westport Town Hall Auditorium (110 Myrtle Avenue), Gregory Stroud will be joining First Selectman Jim Marpe for a presentation on plans for constructing a new rail corridor through Fairfield County. We hope for a lively Q&A. Please come out, and invite your friends! ... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago

Comment on Facebook

Choo Choo trains. Unbelievable.

I feel our money could be much better spent constructing another corridor for i95 The rail commute th Grand Central is approx 45 mins from Westport. That same 45 minutes might get you to Greenwich using I-95 I-95 is the single greatest contributor to the erosion of the Quality of Life in Fairfield County The idea that we are going to spend billions of $$$ on an infrastructure project that affect a small % of the citizen and affect them marginally at best is ridiculous

hoe was the meeting?

A new rail corridor? I thought we all just discussed traffic didn't yield expanding the current one!

In an amazing feat of chutzpah, the FRA has chosen to make a carefully-parsed denial of the validity of the maps.

“The maps posted by SECoast were not produced by FRA,” said Warren Flatau, a spokesman for the federal agency.

Well, lets take a look at the metadata... AECOM, to be clear, is the contractor in charge of mapping environmental impacts for the FRA.

If after five years and $30 million taxpayer dollars, these plans are such an embarrassment, then why on earth were they approved as part of 
the July 12 Record of Decision? FRAs denial is incredibly disappointing, but not out of character for what we have long understood as a deeply flawed planning process. - Gregory Stroud, Executive Director, SECoast.

In an amazing feat of chutzpah, the FRA has chosen to make a carefully-parsed denial of the validity of the maps.

“The maps posted by SECoast were not produced by FRA,” said Warren Flatau, a spokesman for the federal agency.

Well, let's take a look at the metadata... AECOM, to be clear, is the contractor in charge of mapping environmental impacts for the FRA.

"If after five years and $30 million taxpayer dollars, these plans are such an embarrassment, then why on earth were they approved as part of
the July 12 Record of Decision? FRA's denial is incredibly disappointing, but not out of character for what we have long understood as a deeply flawed planning process." - Gregory Stroud, Executive Director, SECoast.
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3 weeks ago

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And note the content creation date.

Ho!

If after five years and $30 million taxpayer dollars, these plans are such an embarrassment, then why on earth were they approved as part of the July 12 Record of Decision? FRA's denial is incredibly disappointing, but not out of character for what we have long understood as a deeply flawed planning process.

Yikes.

If the FRA is using the maps internally and referring to them in public presentations, then they are effectively certifying the validity of these maps, no matter who produced them.

What time and where on the Monday October 2nd meeting in Westport??

6:30- 8:00 Westport Town Hall Auditorium.

+ View previous comments

BREAKING NEWS

High-Quality maps of NEC Future projects in Fairfield County leaked to the public... with maps of the Kenyon to Old Saybrook Bypass to follow shortly.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

PRESS RELEASE 

Preservation Advocates Release Previously Undisclosed High-Resolution Maps of Federal Railroad Administration High-speed Rail Bypass Through Fairfield County

Old Lyme, CT (Sept. 28): For the first time since the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) proposed a significant expansion of high-speed rail infrastructure through Connecticut, the public, and local officials will finally have their first opportunity to examine detailed high-resolution maps of the planned New Rochelle to Greens Farms Bypass through the historic coastal communities of Fairfield County.

On Thursday, the preservation nonprofit SECoast, which earlier partnered with the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation to lead opposition to similar proposals in southeastern Connecticut and southern Rhode Island, released what it says are previously undisclosed high-resolution maps of the proposal. In a statement to the press, the group claimed that while the maps were withheld from the public, and omitted from a Freedom of Information request submitted by the group to the FRA on April 6, 2016, the maps have been freely shared among state and federal agencies for months.

“We have always suspected that state agencies in Connecticut have had access to these high-quality maps,” SECoast Executive Director Gregory Stroud said in a prepared statement, “Now we know for certain that a number other states along the Northeast Corridor have had access to these maps since at least January. You have to wonder what legitimate purpose our own government has for keeping these detailed maps from the public.”

Stroud pointed out that a 1971 D.C. Circuit Court ruling in Calvert Cliffs Coordinating Committee v. United States Atomic Energy Commission holds federal agencies to a strict standard of “full disclosure,” tempered only by a “rule of reason” for the purposes of informing planning and decision making. Federal Regulations, C.F.R. 1506.6(f), require federal agencies to make “any underlying documents available to the public pursuant to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.”

“We have no interest in delaying sensible solutions and improvements for the Northeast Corridor,” Stroud noted. “We all agree that rail travel is vital for the economy of Connecticut, and for Fairfield County, in particular. But how can we support a plan, when the crucial details and impacts are kept from us?”

The FRA approved the New Rochelle to Greens Farms Bypass as the sole solution for capacity and speed constraints on the Northeast Corridor between New York and New Haven as part of the NEC Future Record of Decision released on July 12, 2017. The Record of Decision will guide state and federal investment, and eligibility for federal matching funds, through at least 2040.

As shown in the newly-released maps, the New Rochelle to Green Greens Farms Bypass will require approximately 29 miles of new right of way, near and alongside the I-95 corridor through the towns of Greenwich, Darien, Westport, Norwalk, and Stamford. This would include significant impacts to historic National Register districts in downtown Greenwich and Cos Cob; the National Historical Landmark Bush-Holley House; Mianus River and its embankments; residential neighborhoods in Darien; Flax Hill, Golden Hill and East Norwalk, in Norwalk; and to substantial commercial real estate in Old Greenwich and Stamford. An additional proposal for an expanded high-speed rail station in Greens Farms, also approved in the Record of Decision, has been met with puzzlement and concern.

“We’re working with town officials and local groups, including Greenwich Preservation Trust, to identify key impacts and areas of concerns, but we’re just scratching the surface,” said Stroud. “On October 2, the Town of Westport and the Westport Historical Society are hosting a public meeting on the plan from 6:30 – 8 pm in the Town Hall Auditorium (110 Myrtle Avenue), and we’ll be there to explain the plan, to answer questions, and to hear your concerns.”

In addition to the release, detailed maps, and further analysis, will be posted to www.SECoast.org
 
####

BREAKING NEWS

High-Quality maps of NEC Future projects in Fairfield County leaked to the public... with maps of the Kenyon to Old Saybrook Bypass to follow shortly.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

PRESS RELEASE

"Preservation Advocates Release Previously Undisclosed High-Resolution Maps of Federal Railroad Administration High-speed Rail Bypass Through Fairfield County"

Old Lyme, CT (Sept. 28): For the first time since the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) proposed a significant expansion of high-speed rail infrastructure through Connecticut, the public, and local officials will finally have their first opportunity to examine detailed high-resolution maps of the planned New Rochelle to Greens Farms Bypass through the historic coastal communities of Fairfield County.

On Thursday, the preservation nonprofit SECoast, which earlier partnered with the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation to lead opposition to similar proposals in southeastern Connecticut and southern Rhode Island, released what it says are previously undisclosed high-resolution maps of the proposal. In a statement to the press, the group claimed that while the maps were withheld from the public, and omitted from a Freedom of Information request submitted by the group to the FRA on April 6, 2016, the maps have been freely shared among state and federal agencies for months.

“We have always suspected that state agencies in Connecticut have had access to these high-quality maps,” SECoast Executive Director Gregory Stroud said in a prepared statement, “Now we know for certain that a number other states along the Northeast Corridor have had access to these maps since at least January. You have to wonder what legitimate purpose our own government has for keeping these detailed maps from the public.”

Stroud pointed out that a 1971 D.C. Circuit Court ruling in Calvert Cliffs' Coordinating Committee v. United States Atomic Energy Commission holds federal agencies to a strict standard of “full disclosure,” tempered only by a “rule of reason” for the purposes of informing planning and decision making. Federal Regulations, C.F.R. 1506.6(f), require federal agencies to make “any underlying documents available to the public pursuant to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.”

“We have no interest in delaying sensible solutions and improvements for the Northeast Corridor,” Stroud noted. “We all agree that rail travel is vital for the economy of Connecticut, and for Fairfield County, in particular. But how can we support a plan, when the crucial details and impacts are kept from us?”

The FRA approved the New Rochelle to Greens Farms Bypass as the sole solution for capacity and speed constraints on the Northeast Corridor between New York and New Haven as part of the NEC Future Record of Decision released on July 12, 2017. The Record of Decision will guide state and federal investment, and eligibility for federal matching funds, through at least 2040.

As shown in the newly-released maps, the New Rochelle to Green Greens Farms Bypass will require approximately 29 miles of new right of way, near and alongside the I-95 corridor through the towns of Greenwich, Darien, Westport, Norwalk, and Stamford. This would include significant impacts to historic National Register districts in downtown Greenwich and Cos Cob; the National Historical Landmark Bush-Holley House; Mianus River and its embankments; residential neighborhoods in Darien; Flax Hill, Golden Hill and East Norwalk, in Norwalk; and to substantial commercial real estate in Old Greenwich and Stamford. An additional proposal for an expanded high-speed rail station in Greens Farms, also approved in the Record of Decision, has been met with puzzlement and concern.

“We’re working with town officials and local groups, including Greenwich Preservation Trust, to identify key impacts and areas of concerns, but we’re just scratching the surface,” said Stroud. “On October 2, the Town of Westport and the Westport Historical Society are hosting a public meeting on the plan from 6:30 – 8 pm in the Town Hall Auditorium (110 Myrtle Avenue), and we’ll be there to explain the plan, to answer questions, and to hear your concerns.”

In addition to the release, detailed maps, and further analysis, will be posted to www.SECoast.org

####
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3 weeks ago

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What isn't so clear from the maps, is what this would require to build, including fill, excavation, routing construction materials and trucks, staging areas... a massive, disruptive undertaking for Fairfield County.

Why does it stop in Westport? Someone from WP funding/lobbying this?

Staff at SECoast and the Connecticut Trust sat down on Tuesday with Westerly Town Council member Jean Gagnier, Charlestown Town Council President Virginia Lee, and others, to discuss the next phases of NEC Future. 

We also had the chance to learn from Jean more about the Bricks and Murals project in Westerly and Pawcatuck which will bring in several nationally-regarded sign painters from out of state to complete 14 murals for the two towns.  Take a look!

Staff at SECoast and the Connecticut Trust sat down on Tuesday with Westerly Town Council member Jean Gagnier, Charlestown Town Council President Virginia Lee, and others, to discuss the next phases of NEC Future.

We also had the chance to learn from Jean more about the Bricks and Murals project in Westerly and Pawcatuck which will bring in several nationally-regarded sign painters from out of state to complete 14 murals for the two towns. Take a look!Did you buy your tickets yet? Only $35 in advance at bricksandmurals.org ... One week until the food stroll! #westerlyri #pawcatuckct #muralart #walldogs #murals #food #community #culture #history #festival #newengland #oceanstate
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1 month ago

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A pretty striking contrast in messaging between Senator Chris Murphy and CTDOT Commissioner James Redeker. Take a look at Murphy's opening speech in Westport on Thursday, August 24, and compare this to Redeker in Stamford on August 15 here: secoast.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Redeker-8.15.17-opening-statement.3gp

"So, in some sense what NEC Future does is paint this philosophy of investment for our future with no money and no projects, the State of Connecticut has a vision with no money yet, right, we pledged 2.8 billion against 100 billion so far and 5 years, 70% of that is in the railroad. All about state of good repair. So, our…effectively in Connecticut for Connecticut anything that’s programmed is in a capital plan, or potentially in a vision document, it’s all transparent, it’s all here, it’s all listed, there are no bypasses anywhere."

We strongly encourage you to take a look at Darien TV79's full video here: vimeo.com/231084714
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2 months ago

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This sounds like more $ for them to spend! Fix what we have Too many accidents.

Senator Chris Murphy held a meeting yesterday in Westport on the issue of high-speed rail for Connecticut, and for Fairfield County in particular. Needless to say, it was a very interesting event, with the senator advocating strongly for some version of the New Rochelle to Greens Farms Bypass, and further suggesting that the Kenyon to Old Saybrook Bypass was far from settled. Most striking was dead seriousness of the conversation, and discussion of the proposals... I'd strongly encourage you to watch at least Senator Murphy's opening statement.

vimeo.com/231084714
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2 months ago

Join us for our first annual Golf Classic at Shennecosset Golf Course in #Groton, #Connecticut.

Funds raised through this event will support the mission of the Trust to preserve, protect and promote Connecticut's historic buildings and sites through our many programs. Support our Circuit Riders, grants, revolving loan fund, easements and advocacy work!
Reserve your spot or sign-up for dinner only here: cttrust.z2systems.com/np/clients/cttrust/event.jsp?event=12&
Sponsor a hole here: cttrust.z2systems.com/np/clients/cttrust/event.jsp?event=12&

Golfer registration ends Friday, September 8th. Sponsor registration ends Tuesday, August 29th.

Will you sponsor a hole? Or sign-up a foursome and walk where Arnold Palmer and Bobby Jones have played? Or network at dinner with architects, developers, brokers, and contractors?
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2 months ago

Thanks to Jim Cameron and Darien TV79, we have a video of the meeting yesterday in Stamford, hosted by Senator Blumenthal, with CTDOT Commissioner Redeker, and leaders of Greenwich, Darien, Westport, Norwalk, and Stamford, as well as Francis Perkins, executive director of WestCOG [note that due to privacy settings, you will have to watch this video on the mother site at Vimeo]This is "High Speed Rail Meeting 8-15-17" by Darien TV79 on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them. ... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago

Here is a video of our April 26, 2017 meeting in Greenwich, CT on the topic of NEC Future high-speed rail. A 30 minute presentation followed by an hour of Q&A. We had great participation from Jayme Stevenson, Gail Lavielle, Fred Camillo, and others... please take a look, and share with your friends down in Fairfield County.The Federal Railroad Admin is proposing new high speed rail tracks from New Rochelle to Greens Farms. This informational meeting explains the plan and its effect… ... See MoreSee Less

3 months ago

With a standing-room-only crowd in Greenwich yesterday, we ran out of copies of our printed informational packet... it's now available for download here:

secoast.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Greenwich-Briefing.pdf
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3 months ago

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Making Greenwich Great Again

The Town of Branford is sponsoring an informational meeting on the NEC Future Record of Decision.  Greg Stroud, co-founder of SECoast and Director of Special Projects at the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, will be speaking and taking questions on the issue. It should be fun.

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 - 7pm at the Branford Firehouse, 45 N. Main Street.

The Town of Branford is sponsoring an informational meeting on the NEC Future Record of Decision. Greg Stroud, co-founder of SECoast and Director of Special Projects at the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, will be speaking and taking questions on the issue. It should be fun.

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 - 7pm at the Branford Firehouse, 45 N. Main Street.
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3 months ago

Blumenthal will be in Old Lyme today, at 10:30. We are out of town, working across the state on the rail issue, but we encourage you to attend. ... See MoreSee Less

3 months ago

The first rally anywhere against NEC Future was rescheduled for May 1, 2016. Lucky for us Gil Boro hosted, and kept us out of the rain and cold. Dini Mallory and Robin Breeding, co-founders of SECoast, organized the event. Dan Stevens and Clayton Allen, the Shrivers, Eleanor Robinson, and Sophia Griswold, provided the live music. At the time we were struggling to get anyone to take the issue seriously, but Devin Carney and Paul Formica were there to give their support. Daniel Mackay was there and the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation co-sponsored the event. Olwen Logan covered the event for LymeLine. Documents obtained later through the Freedom of Information Act showed CTDOT officials circulating Logans write-up. 

Looking back, who would have guessed how this would turn out? Thanks to all, and to many more, who helped out...

The first rally anywhere against NEC Future was rescheduled for May 1, 2016. Lucky for us Gil Boro hosted, and kept us out of the rain and cold. Dini Mallory and Robin Breeding, co-founders of SECoast, organized the event. Dan Stevens and Clayton Allen, the Shrivers, Eleanor Robinson, and Sophia Griswold, provided the live music. At the time we were struggling to get anyone to take the issue seriously, but Devin Carney and Paul Formica were there to give their support. Daniel Mackay was there and the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation co-sponsored the event. Olwen Logan covered the event for LymeLine. Documents obtained later through the Freedom of Information Act showed CTDOT officials circulating Logan's write-up.

Looking back, who would have guessed how this would turn out? Thanks to all, and to many more, who helped out...
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3 months ago

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Here's a pic of the event from LymeLine.com

The Local Motives... Dick, Rich, and Barbara Shriver, with Eleanor Robinson

Strumming and humming our way through vintage train songs that helped propel a movement to a sensible decision by the FRA. Grateful.

Amazing what can happen when we all raise our voices together.

As we work through the Record of Decision, including 2600+ pages of public comment, summaries and responses from the Federal Railroad Administration, I'd like to briefly touch on a few key issues for communities across Connecticut and Rhode Island, and I'd like to ask a favor. Read on!

For communities stretching from east of New Haven to Providence, where the Federal Railroad Administration has dropped plans for a "Kenyon to Old Saybrook Bypass," from the just-released Record of Decision... a note of caution.

If you turn to Appendix A page 28 of the Record of Decision, we have identified a provision in the document which clearly suggests an intent to revisit 'dropped' plans to quad-track between Branford and Guilford stations in Connecticut, as well as to revisit plans for a Kenyon to Old Saybrook Bypass through the historic district in Old Lyme.

This is a bit technical, but here is the key portion of text:

........ snip..........
Accordingly, the Selected Alternative includes the requirement for a capacity planning study (the New Haven to Providence Capacity Planning Study), in partnership with Connecticut and Rhode Island, that will identify on- and off-corridor infrastructure elements to achieve the service and performance objectives of the Selected Alternative between New Haven and Providence. The New Haven to Providence Capacity Planning Study will encompass the geographic area within the following limits: along the Hartford/Springfield Line from New Haven to Hartford, from Hartford to Providence, and along the existing NEC from New Haven to Providence. This study area includes the areas considered for capacity expansion between Branford to Guilford, CT, and Old Saybrook, CT, to Kenyon, RI. Completion of a New Haven to Providence Capacity Planning Study for this area will be a pre-condition to any Tier 2 projects that are intended to increase capacity.
.........snip..........

We can't really think of any reason to mention these 'dropped' routes specifically in the Record of Decision, other than to guide later planning, and to assure that plans for the Kenyon to Old Saybrook Bypass, and Quadtracking between Branford and Guilford are reintroduced into decision making at a later date.

When? The best answer, as usual, is in a piece by Ana Radelat for the Connecticut Mirror. The key quote:

......snip...............
"There is no timetable for the capacity study, allowing for “a healthy process” to determine how to improve rail service in eastern Connecticut, said Rebecca Reyes-Alicia, who is managing the Northeast Corridor project for the agency."

She also said “there was no consensus” for the proposed Old Saybrook to Rhode Island bypass.
.......snip.............

ctmirror.org/2017/07/12/feds-drop-old-saybrook-to-rhode-island-bypass-from-final-rail-plan/

As a benchmark, we hope that that by a "healthy process," Reyes-Alicia means more, not less, public participation.

Now while this eastern portion, which impacts towns from Branford, CT to Charlestown, RI falls asleep, what will be happening to the west in Fairfield County?

Three days ago, I spend two hours ago being briefed on the plan by a rail insider, and his take was this:

Pay attention to the New Rochelle to Greens Farms Bypass, because that's "where the action is."

If you don't know already, the NEC Future Record of Decision selected this bypass as a solution to transportation problems in north/east of New York City. This plan proposes simply enormous impacts to the historic coastline towns in Fairfield County, including Riverside, Cos Cob, Stamford, and Darien.

So when does this planning start?

Our source tells us, that there is already an early working group at the CT DOT tasked with moving ahead piecemeal with the New Rochelle to Greens Farms Bypass. Last night, this was pretty much confirmed by Sue Haigh, in a piece for the Associated Press. Another must-read. Here is the key section:

.......snip................
Connecticut DOT Commissioner James Redeker said his agency first plans to examine ways to improve service frequency and travel times between New Haven and New York City. The FRA's updated blueprint calls for improvements including additional railroad tracks, station and system upgrades, and the replacement of aging moveable bridges. A state-funded, $3 million consultant's study is already underway. Redeker said DOT hopes to identify short-term initiatives in the next two years, followed by longer-term infrastructure upgrades.

"We're sort of actually ahead of the game in terms of moving forward in Connecticut," he said, adding how there is not an immediate rush to work with Rhode Island on the New Haven-to-Providence stretch of the rail line because there isn't money available to make the improvements.
........snip...............

This raises a few key questions: Who is conducting the study? When did the study begin? What are the parameters of the study? And how could CT DOT begin a "state-funded $3 million dollar consultant's study" without some prior knowledge of the decision to select the New Rochelle to Greens Farms Bypass as part of the Record of Decision?

So... it's pretty clear that there is no time for delay, and that we need to actively engage communities in southwestern Connecticut in this process as soon as possible. The best solutions -- and there will be solutions -- will require serious, immediate, and informed engagement from the public and elected officials in Greenwich, Stamford and Darien.

And that brings me to that favor I'm asking of you... it's a small state. I know all of our readers have friends and family living in Fairfield County. Please reach out to them... explain to them what we've accomplished here east of New Haven, and encourage them to "like" or "follow" our page on Facebook, or sign up for our newsletter on our website at SECoast.org.

For everyone living along the New Rochelle to Greens Farms Bypass, this is just getting started, and they are going to need all the help they can get. And lastly: PLEASE SHARE THIS POST.
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3 months ago

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Keep your eyes on SEC and CTDOT. SEC is doing a good job of keeping us informed. TY Joanne Bouknight for posting.

When Rebecca Reyes-Alicia says "healthy" - imo, she is using a vague, subjective term.Specific commitment to public input is what is called for. Please watch this video, even though it is long, because this agenda has found its way into our local ordinances, and it is not good. www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ykELwj1Ta8

Ann Luedke Lobdell. Share this with your New Caanan friend

Mark Lurie

Thanks for the updates. We need modernization and must accept SOME, but the least disruptive changes.

Thanks Katie for taking the time to share this with us. Pretty involved... Xx

They are fighting hard against this in Maryland too. What a mess. We need to stay vigilant.

+ View previous comments

The first public event anywhere in southern New England to oppose the Kenyon to Old Saybrook Bypass. It was planned for Nancy Stulas backyard, April 10, 2016, but was canceled when it threatened to snow. At the time, we were asked to change the name of the event. They told us Daffodil Riot was inappropriate and provocative. Ha.

The first public event anywhere in southern New England to oppose the Kenyon to Old Saybrook Bypass. It was planned for Nancy Stula's backyard, April 10, 2016, but was canceled when it threatened to snow. At the time, we were asked to change the name of the event. They told us "Daffodil Riot" was inappropriate and provocative. Ha. ... See MoreSee Less

3 months ago

Comment on Facebook

The stuff of legend.....

Disruptive behavior is necessary to drive change as we well know!

If you were not provocative then this town would have done nothing!!

Definitely need to sell the prints

Awesome

Daffodils trigger me. Not. Lol.

+ View previous comments

We have been overwhelmed with media outreach and interviews over the last 24 hours...I am sorry that we have been very quiet here on the site today as a result. We will have much more detailed analysis of the next few days, but let me briefly explain what has just happened.

We see this as a split decision. For southeastern Connecticut, this Record of Decision offers a major reprieve from the impacts of the proposed Kenyon to Old Saybrook Bypass. Quadtracking between Branford and Guilford has also been dropped from the plan. But in contrast, in Fairfield County, the Federal Railroad Administration has selected a New Rochelle to Greens Farms rail bypass which poses equally significant economic, historic, and environmental impacts. It's reasonable for residents of Norwalk, Darien, and Greenwich to ask why they were treated differently.

I would like to say that the early, strong, and bipartisan leadership on the issue from Senator Blumenthal, Congressman Courtney, State Sen. Formica and State Rep. Carney played no small part in the particular success we've achieved east of New Haven. Rob Vavasour in Guilford and Jon Wilson in Stony Creek deserve significant thanks for their grassroots work on the Branford and Guilford quadtracking. I believe it was crucial. Jo Conboy and the Greenwich Preservation Trust have been strong advocates in Fairfield County, and we intend to work vigorously to reach a good result there despite the disappointing selection of the New Rochelle to Greens Farms Bypass as part of the Record of Decision. Lisa Konicki, executive director of the Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce has been enormously effective and influential both in Rhode Island and in Connecticut. And let me say that the entire Northeast Corridor owes a debt of gratitude to the leadership and work, late in coming, but remarkably effective, from the Charlestown Citizens Alliance, and the Charlestown government. It has been a model effort on their part as a local government. Let us all learn from them.

We believe that the announced NEC Future Record Of Decision represents significant progress. It is a victory of sorts. And we
believe that the sort of changes affected in the Record of Decision are unprecedented in a federal project of this
type and scope. That said, until we arrive at a solution to real capacity, speed, and resiliency issues along the Northeast
Corridor through southeastern Connecticut and southern Rhode Island, there remains a significant threat to Old Lyme, Mystic, Stonington, Westerly and Charlestown, as well as to Branford, Guilford and Stony Creek.

As proposed, the Record of Decision requires a 2:45 travel time between Boston and New York, and proposes a planning process which would partner the CT DOT, RI DOT with the FRA to develop a solution that delivers this federally-mandated result. As such, there is much work ahead. This Record of Decision does not assure a good solution, nor does it assure a better process, it does however, provide the communities of southeastern Connecticut with a some breathing room. As we move forward SECoast and the Connecticut Trust will continue to engage this issue, and push for a better planning process in the next stage. We do not expect this new planning process in southeastern Connecticut or southern Rhode Island to be an immediate priority for the FRA.

So... yes, let's celebrate.... you deserve it... and then let's roll up our sleeves and get back at it...
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3 months ago

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When can I get the check for my house 🏡

I can solve it far cheaper and faster. That are called airplanes and for the 100's of billions we can fly a lot of them. Rail travel is already bordering obsolescence but with the fully autonomous vehicles becoming a large reality over the next 20 years, these hapless dopes are as current as cavemen.

Great work! The campaigns and letters and emails really did make a difference. The ROD used very diplomatic language regarding "feedback" they received. I'll bet a few of those letters were less than diplomatic. The coalition formed here needs to remain vigilant, however of any new projects that claim to fix rail service with a broad stroke of the pen.

So basically Stonington and the area still have to worry about possible significant impact on the communities? Umm....so why did a previous post say we can breathe a sigh of relief? Seems that nothing was "won" today...IMO

To Greg and team: Thank you thank you THANK YOU! We have been so blessed to have you paying attention to all this and advocating to save our communities. Yes, the fight isn't completely over. But without your wonderful efforts to date, we'd be sunk. We are grateful!!

Nice work Gregory Stroud and team...and supporters.

Thanks to all of the people fighting to preserve our lovely, historical communities!

This is such welcome fabulous news I could go jump off the train bridge a shout hurray! Thank Goodness someone had some sense but a hair brain idea! Now just fix the tracks we have now! The bridge is in terrible disrepair! Thanks to ALL who spend countless hours! Thank yu to the public for speaking out! Thank yu to Didi Dini Mallory! Thank you Greg! Thank yu all! It is one Happy Day in Old Lyme and other towns !

Increase commuter and connecting flights from Groton and new haven might lighten the load of I-95 traffic between Boston and DC.

If the Government realy wants it it will happen one way or another Mark my words

Thank you for all you folks are doing!

I have mixed feelings on this. Good that historic and fragile areas have been protected from intrusion, destruction and disruption. I see no mention here of a path forward to have faster and more efficient train travel between Boston and NYC. In that regard, this effort is simply one big NIMBY: Not In My Back Yard. This effort needs more than a big loud "NOT HERE!!!" It needs solutions that don't harm existing areas. Maybe tunnels under certain areas. I don't know. Improved rail can help reduce highway congestion - who doesn't want that improvement?

Thank you for all your hard work!! 👏🏻

Thanks

Thank you!

+ View previous comments

We are expecting an announcement of the NEC Future Record of Decision tomorrow @ 11 am ... See MoreSee Less

3 months ago

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Tomorrow meaning today (Wednesday!)

Will be watching my phone.

So here comes the back side of the two-year long hurricane. The eye of the storm has lingered for several months, with a fury ahead. Fingers crossed - we've worked this hard and the region and its communities deserve a clear win.

Any word? I see the Courtney announcement re: Kenyon Pass on Twitter but am wondering results in substance...

FRA and RI and CT DOTs are obligated to launch a new study for potential routes between New Haven and Providence. As such, NO recommended new routes, new infrastructure (bridge or tunnel) in SE CT. The possibility remains that a new study could return to these routes or infrastructure options, but there are no prescriptions in the ROD. Notably, the study area boundary includes the possibility that a New Haven - Hartford - Storrs - Providence route is back in play.

Buried in the ROD is acknowledgment that your letters and emails worked and were heard, at least en masse: "While the feedback suggests that there is support for moving forward with implementing the Grow Vision, it also helped clarify that finding a solution to address the capacity, performance, and resiliency needs of the NEC between New Haven, CT, and Providence, RI, will require further study before the Tier 2 NEPA process can begin in that portion of the corridor."

Good news!

We will have a significant statement out in a few hours...

+ View previous comments

There is news afoot...  but here is the latest from Senator Blumenthal in response to the nomination of a new head of the Federal Railroad Administration.  Once again, welcome support on NEC Future from the senior senator.
..........
BLUMENTHAL STATEMENT ON NOMINATION OF RON BATORY TO LEAD FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) issued the following statement regarding the nomination of Ron Batory to lead the Federal Railroad Administration.

“If confirmed, Ron Batory will be tasked with bringing our country’s aging rail network into the 21st century—an immense responsibility with tremendous opportunity to support job growth and economic development in Connecticut and nationwide. When he comes before the Commerce Committee, I will seek firm, specific commitments from him with regards to rail safety and reliability, including assurances that he will ensure on-time nationwide installation of life-saving Positive Train Control technology. The deadline for implementation of PTC is now just a year and a half away and the need for leadership at FRA could not be more urgent. Batory must also explicitly disavow the harmful and impractical FRA proposal to plow new train tracks through historic towns like Old Lyme and parts of Fairfield County and Southwestern Connecticut. Those deeply problematic portions of the FRA’s NEC FUTURE plan must be scrapped while maintaining the FRA’s reasonable and responsible commitment to enhancing service throughout the Metro-North system and along the Hartford-Springfield line. I look forward to continued close collaboration with the FRA on efforts to enhance rail service and safety in Connecticut and nationwide.”
..........

There is news afoot... but here is the latest from Senator Blumenthal in response to the nomination of a new head of the Federal Railroad Administration. Once again, welcome support on NEC Future from the senior senator.
..........
BLUMENTHAL STATEMENT ON NOMINATION OF RON BATORY TO LEAD FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) issued the following statement regarding the nomination of Ron Batory to lead the Federal Railroad Administration.

“If confirmed, Ron Batory will be tasked with bringing our country’s aging rail network into the 21st century—an immense responsibility with tremendous opportunity to support job growth and economic development in Connecticut and nationwide. When he comes before the Commerce Committee, I will seek firm, specific commitments from him with regards to rail safety and reliability, including assurances that he will ensure on-time nationwide installation of life-saving Positive Train Control technology. The deadline for implementation of PTC is now just a year and a half away and the need for leadership at FRA could not be more urgent. Batory must also explicitly disavow the harmful and impractical FRA proposal to plow new train tracks through historic towns like Old Lyme and parts of Fairfield County and Southwestern Connecticut. Those deeply problematic portions of the FRA’s NEC FUTURE plan must be scrapped while maintaining the FRA’s reasonable and responsible commitment to enhancing service throughout the Metro-North system and along the Hartford-Springfield line. I look forward to continued close collaboration with the FRA on efforts to enhance rail service and safety in Connecticut and nationwide.”
..........
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3 months ago

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I haven't found any statements from Rhode Islands two senators yet. Have I missed something? Will be waiting on this issue.

Connecticut’s Historic Preservation Council voted unanimously this afternoon to recommend involvement by the State Attorney General’s Office to prevent the demolitions of 116 and 130 Bank Street in downtown New London. Below is testimony given at the hearing by Laura Natusch, the new executive director of New London Landmarks. Take a look......

I’m Laura Natusch, executive director of New London Landmarks, and I appreciate the opportunity to speak in front of you today.

Brad Schide from CT Trust for Historic Preservation has shown that a feasible, prudent alternative to demolition exists for both buildings. I’m here to talk about the incredible level of support we have for preserving these buildings and about why that support exists.

We have a letter of support from Mayor Michael Passero. Those of you who attended the SHPO conference in May also heard Mayor Passero speak about the importance of historic preservation and our efforts to save these buildings during the mayoral panel discussion.

We have a resolution passed unanimously by the New London City Council and a supporting letter from our Historic District Commission.

We have 1518 petition signatures asking for your help today. About 400 of these signatures came from online petitions, but over eleven hundred people signed in person. We gathered these signatures with very little canvassing: under ten hours.

Most of these signatures came from the efforts of the downtown business community. Seventeen downtown business owners displayed the petition in their businesses and encouraged their customers to sign or allowed us to gather signatures during their special events. Another thirteen downtown business owners signed the petition without displaying it, usually because they had no available counter space.

Our regional newspaper, The Day, editorialized that not only should these buildings be saved, but that the City of New London should use this threat to Bank Street’s historic streetscape as an opportunity to codify its vision for Bank Street in its Plan for Conservation and Development. In one of several pro-preservation columns, David Collins wrote, “If you ruin the historic fabric of the downtown with precedent-setting demolition, you are snuffing out renaissance potential.”

We’ve received twenty-seven letters of support, ten of which came from local and regional organizations including Hygienic Arts, the Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition, New London Main Street, Hope, Inc., Thames River Heritage Park Foundation, Hodges Square Village Association and the Connecticut branch of the Sierra Club. They spoke about issues such as the link between historic streetscapes and economic revitalization, the regional importance of and investments we’ve already made in heritage tourism, the environmental impacts of demolition vs. rehabilitation, and about what the wrecking ball has already taken from our city.

So why is there such an outpouring of support for the preservation of these buildings?

To understand that, you have to understand a little bit about New London. We’re an old port city. We’re the Whaling City. We have WPA whaling murals in our downtown post office, a ten-foot tall whale tale fountain across from Union Station, our high school athletes are Whalers, we buy beer at Whaling City Spirits.

But nowhere is our maritime heritage more evident than on Bank Street, named for the bank of the Thames River. When you approach Bank Street from the water, you see the same buildings that nineteenth century whalers saw when they sailed into port. When you walk down Bank Street, you’re walking past sea captains’ homes and sailors’ boarding houses. Bank Street has always been both the heart of our downtown and the heart of our maritime activity. If you dismantle that streetscape, we’re no longer the Whaling City. Without that streetscape, all our Whaler’s pride is just window dressing. Those Bank Street buildings are the windows.

And here’s something else about New London: we’ve lost a lot of historic buildings and neighborhoods, and those losses hurt. Many of the people who wrote letters or commented on our petition spoke about neighborhoods razed and families uprooted. More than one of them likened these losses to the 1781 torching of New London by Benedict Arnold--which isn’t an obscure or forgotten history for us. We have an annual festival where we gather behind Bank Street—right behind these two buildings—and raise our fists, and yell, “Fie! Fie!” as we burn Benedict Arnold in effigy.

116 Bank Street was probably the very beginning of Bank Street’s rebirth after Benedict Arnold’s fires. It was built between 1786 and 1789—we believe it’s the oldest building on the water side of Bank Street--and its first owner was a baker who supplied bread to the Continental Army. Underneath its siding, it’s one of very few wooden structures on Bank Street, where wooden construction was banned in the early 1800’s. In the nineteenth century, it became a sailor’s boarding house, then a mission. It’s where the forty-two drowning victims from the steamship Atlantic were laid out in preparation for burial.
130 Bank Street was built in 1828, as New London was recovering from the blockade of 1812 and beginning to prosper with whaling money. Its original owner, John Deshon, became a sea captain in 1798 when he was twenty-one years old. His brother co-founded New London’s whaling industry in 1819.

Together, these buildings tell the story of New London’s recovery and ultimate resurgence as the second largest whaling port in the world. But they also tell another facet of New London’s history. A boarding house next to a wealthy sea captain’s home: then as now, downtown New London was everyone’s neighborhood. It’s where the rich and poor have always rubbed shoulders.

Maybe this is why so many people used the word “our” when they told us why they were writing letters or signing our petition: our downtown, our city, our heritage.

This gets to the core of the tension between Mr. Cornish’s private property rights and the rights of the public. If historic buildings are resources in which the public has a trust, then surely that trust is amplified in a municipality’s downtown.

The irony is that if Mr. Cornish were to tear down 116 and 130 Bank Street and replace them with a larger, new building, he would then be able to market his apartments as being located along New London’s historic waterfront. His profit margin would hinge on his neighbors not doing what he hopes the state will allow him to do--yet he argues that he has the right to diminish the value of their properties by demolishing a chunk of the historic streetscape upon which this community depends.

What makes the threat of demolition hard to swallow even for people who are not hard-core preservationists is Mr. Cornish’s lack of architectural plans. He has not hired an architect, nor does he intend to hire an architect until after the buildings are demolished. What little he has said about his intentions are contradictory. In April, at the Historic District Commission meeting, he said that he wants to tear 130 Bank Street down to its foundation and build something taller but with the same footprint. In May, he said that he wants to build a much larger residential building encompassing both lots.

We believe that Mr. Cornish has spent no more time exploring alternatives to demolition than he has spent developing architectural plans. We hope that by recommending involvement by the State Attorney General, you will bring everyone to the table to have a serious discussion about what those alternatives could look like.

We’re optimistic that if we work together, we can find a solution. New London’s downtown real estate market is booming, and a number of long-neglected buildings are being rehabbed with care and sensitivity. Historic apartments with water views are renting for prices considerably higher than the rents CT Trust used to show how rehabbing these buildings could be profitable.

In conclusion, the people of New London are clamoring for your help in preserving 116 and 130 Bank Street. These buildings comprise a substantial portion of a beloved historic streetscape, they are both either sound or repairable, and Mr. Cornish has not provided any plans which would justify their loss. We believe that the demolitions of 116 and 130 Bank Street in New London would be unreasonable, and we ask that you recommend involvement by the State Attorney General to prevent them.
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3 months ago

Meet Laura Natusch, the new Executive Director of New London Landmarks -- one of our key partners for preservation in southeastern Connecticut. A thoughtful informal discussion.New London Landmarks' new executive director Laura Natusch speaks with show host and New London Landmarks board member Marty Olsen. Topics range from Ms. Nat... ... See MoreSee Less

4 months ago

Stop me if this sounds familiar: a small town with a National Register Historic District of outsized significance, a fragile real estate market, located at the mouth of a very large river which flows into an ecologically-sensitive tidal estuary, a critical habitat for Atlantic Sturgeon, the site of a National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) where scientists concern themselves with silting, a place where the busy Northeast Corridor crosses over an outmoded two-track century-old lift bridge, where recreational boaters, commuter rail, and high-speed Acela traffic negotiate schedules limited by bridge openings and closings, a place where the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) plans a new high-speed rail crossing routed through a historic district and promises a bridge and aerial structure that will meet the Secretary of the Interiors Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. Local residents are told that the project is essential to the health of the Northeast, that the project has no funding, that it likely won’t be built for another decade, at least.

Old Lyme, Connecticut?  No Havre de Grace, Maryland. But here is where the narrative come apart…

Three days ago, in Havre de Grace, the FRA announced a “Finding of No Significant Impact” (FONSI) for the high-speed rail crossing through the town. Here’s an explanation of what that means from the Baltimore Sun:

…. SNIP….

The finding of no significant impact means officials do not have to complete a more in-depth environmental impact statement, according to the project website.

[Jacqueline] Thorne, [project manager at] the MDOT, called an environmental impact statement the most detailed study there is in terms of the environment.

Project leaders conducted their environmental assessment during the four-year study period, as they evaluated impacts in areas such as water quality and wildlife.

All of those things were evaluated, and it was not felt that we needed to go much deeper, Thorne said.

Project leaders are also expected to work with local, state and federal agencies to minimize impacts to districts and structures in the path of the rail line, such as the historic district in downtown Havre de Grace, Rodgers Tavern in Perryville and the historic interlocking tower at Perryvilles train station complex, according to the report.

….SNIP….

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/harford/aegis/ph-ag-amtrak-bridge-report-0628-20170626-story.html

To help you understand what this FONSI looks like, I’ve attached a photograph of the existing structure and of the new project, as well as a map of the historic district. Take a look at what counts as a historically-sensitive infrastructure design.

So, what do town leaders have to say about the high-speed rail plan?

The project will have a huge impact on the city and the region, and were urging everyone to get familiar with the FONSI, Patrick Sypolt, Havre de Graces director of administration, said during a recent City Council meeting.

The landscape of our city is going to change in the next 10 years, Havre de Grace Mayor Bill Martin said at Monday nights City Council meeting, whether we want it to or not. 

And its going to stay that way for 125 years, Volney Ford, chair of the citys Susquehanna River Rail Bridge Advisory Board, added.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/harford/aegis/ph-ag-hdg-rail-bridge-0407-20170406-story.html

If that sounds like game over, well, I’d say that’s not too far from the truth… by allowing state and federal agencies to take the lead – as many recommended for shoreline Connecticut as well – the town of Havre de Grace appears to have lost out even on any serious consideration of mitigation. The basic construction, the route, and impacts are settled. It’s no longer a matter of “if,” but “when.” Section 4(f) and 6(f) are settled. As are silting and sturgeon, and other even less plausible deus ex machina. 

And I would strongly encourage you to consider this as a template for what could have been, and what might still be, for towns all along the Northeast Corridor in Connecticut and Rhode Island – Charlestown, New London, Guilford, Branford, Greenwich, Darien, and Old Lyme. If shoreline residents are counting on silt or sturgeon or historic impacts or funding to block projects as large as Kenyon to Old Saybrook or New Rochelle to Greens Farms, or as small as Branford to Guilford, I would give this some thought, and think again.

In the analogous, but slightly further-along case of Havre de Grace, not only did these issues fail to block a new high-speed rail project through the National Register historic district, the FRA determined that these issues didn’t even rise to the level of requiring a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Thats exactly why SECoast and the Connecticut Trust have advocated from day one that we absolutely MUST tackle these issues at Tier 1, and that it is absolutely essential that we settle for nothing short of the complete removal of the Kenyon to Old Saybrook Bypass, in particular, from the coming Record of Decision.

Pay attention to the long game. The FRA obviously isn’t giving up on Connecticut, whether the funding comes in five years or twenty-five years. And as is obvious from the case of Havre de Grace, they don’t even need the funding to lock the planning – and impacts - in place.

With a funding horizon stretching into the 2020s, we still have time to get this plan right for southern New England, without actually delaying needed investment, but this breathing room is no help if it plays out after all of the critical decisions are already complete.

For those that say NEC Future’s bypasses and impacts can never happen, look to Havre de Grace. Luckily, unlike Havre de Grace, we’ve gained the critical support of Blumenthal, Courtney, Esty, DeLauro, Raimondo, Formica, Carney, Algiere, Filippi, and others. The FRA has received over 8000 public comments from coastal New England since December. SECoast, Connecticut Trust, and the National Trust have together mounted a serious defense rooted in common sense, public civics, case law, and the National Historic Preservation and Environmental Policy Acts.

Your donations to support our work are welcome. It’s quick and easy; click here:

http://secoast.org/donate/

AND PLEASE SHARE THIS POST!

Stop me if this sounds familiar: a small town with a National Register Historic District of outsized significance, a fragile real estate market, located at the mouth of a very large river which flows into an ecologically-sensitive tidal estuary, a critical habitat for Atlantic Sturgeon, the site of a National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) where scientists concern themselves with silting, a place where the busy Northeast Corridor crosses over an outmoded two-track century-old lift bridge, where recreational boaters, commuter rail, and high-speed Acela traffic negotiate schedules limited by bridge openings and closings, a place where the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) plans a new high-speed rail crossing routed through a historic district and promises a bridge and aerial structure that will meet the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. Local residents are told that the project is essential to the health of the Northeast, that the project has no funding, that it likely won’t be built for another decade, at least.

Old Lyme, Connecticut? No Havre de Grace, Maryland. But here is where the narrative come apart…

Three days ago, in Havre de Grace, the FRA announced a “Finding of No Significant Impact” (FONSI) for the high-speed rail crossing through the town. Here’s an explanation of what that means from the Baltimore Sun:

…. SNIP….

The finding of no significant impact means officials do not have to complete a more in-depth environmental impact statement, according to the project website.

[Jacqueline] Thorne, [project manager at] the MDOT, called an environmental impact statement "the most detailed study there is in terms of the environment."

Project leaders conducted their environmental assessment during the four-year study period, as they evaluated impacts in areas such as water quality and wildlife.

"All of those things were evaluated, and it was not felt that we needed to go much deeper," Thorne said.

Project leaders are also expected to work with local, state and federal agencies to minimize impacts to districts and structures in the path of the rail line, such as the historic district in downtown Havre de Grace, Rodgers Tavern in Perryville and the historic interlocking tower at Perryville's train station complex, according to the report.

….SNIP….

www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/harford/aegis/ph-ag-amtrak-bridge-report-0628-20170626-story.html

To help you understand what this FONSI looks like, I’ve attached a photograph of the existing structure and of the new project, as well as a map of the historic district. Take a look at what counts as a historically-sensitive infrastructure design.

So, what do town leaders have to say about the high-speed rail plan?

"The project will have a huge impact on the city and the region, and we're urging everyone to get familiar with the FONSI," Patrick Sypolt, Havre de Grace's director of administration, said during a recent City Council meeting.

"The landscape of our city is going to change in the next 10 years," Havre de Grace Mayor Bill Martin said at Monday night's City Council meeting, "whether we want it to or not."

"And it's going to stay that way for 125 years," Volney Ford, chair of the city's Susquehanna River Rail Bridge Advisory Board, added.

www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/harford/aegis/ph-ag-hdg-rail-bridge-0407-20170406-story.html

If that sounds like game over, well, I’d say that’s not too far from the truth… by allowing state and federal agencies to take the lead – as many recommended for shoreline Connecticut as well – the town of Havre de Grace appears to have lost out even on any serious consideration of mitigation. The basic construction, the route, and impacts are settled. It’s no longer a matter of “if,” but “when.” Section 4(f) and 6(f) are settled. As are silting and sturgeon, and other even less plausible deus ex machina.

And I would strongly encourage you to consider this as a template for what could have been, and what might still be, for towns all along the Northeast Corridor in Connecticut and Rhode Island – Charlestown, New London, Guilford, Branford, Greenwich, Darien, and Old Lyme. If shoreline residents are counting on silt or sturgeon or historic impacts or funding to block projects as large as Kenyon to Old Saybrook or New Rochelle to Greens Farms, or as small as Branford to Guilford, I would give this some thought, and think again.

In the analogous, but slightly further-along case of Havre de Grace, not only did these issues fail to block a new high-speed rail project through the National Register historic district, the FRA determined that these issues didn’t even rise to the level of requiring a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

That's exactly why SECoast and the Connecticut Trust have advocated from day one that we absolutely MUST tackle these issues at Tier 1, and that it is absolutely essential that we settle for nothing short of the complete removal of the Kenyon to Old Saybrook Bypass, in particular, from the coming Record of Decision.

Pay attention to the long game. The FRA obviously isn’t giving up on Connecticut, whether the funding comes in five years or twenty-five years. And as is obvious from the case of Havre de Grace, they don’t even need the funding to lock the planning – and impacts - in place.

With a funding horizon stretching into the 2020s, we still have time to get this plan right for southern New England, without actually delaying needed investment, but this breathing room is no help if it plays out after all of the critical decisions are already complete.

For those that say NEC Future’s bypasses and impacts can never happen, look to Havre de Grace. Luckily, unlike Havre de Grace, we’ve gained the critical support of Blumenthal, Courtney, Esty, DeLauro, Raimondo, Formica, Carney, Algiere, Filippi, and others. The FRA has received over 8000 public comments from coastal New England since December. SECoast, Connecticut Trust, and the National Trust have together mounted a serious defense rooted in common sense, public civics, case law, and the National Historic Preservation and Environmental Policy Acts.

Your donations to support our work are welcome. It’s quick and easy; click here:

secoast.org/donate/

AND PLEASE SHARE THIS POST!
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4 months ago

Comment on Facebook

This is must-read!

I used to live in Havre de Grace. In many ways, it's a lot like Old Lyme. These towns have historical significance and ecosystems that need to be protected.

You guys have to unite, get asap petitions in front of your mayor and governor, rally the press. We in Old Lyme, Niantic, Waterford Ct are also fighting a high speed railroad. What happened to rail travel? Seems its all about fast fast fast travel, no longer viewing the coastal sights, all about $$$$, lining a few select pockets.

Don't fight it till they buy my house

Unbelievable

A must-read!!

Good read. Interesting.

Well like everything else the government does they lie to us they don't tell you the whole story and sooner or later they'll sneak it in like they do everything else very sad again so all about money😬

Why do we have this high speed...why can't we just chill?

Sit on it FONSI.

Destroying simply beautiful areas along with nature preserves, rural farmland, historic towns and landmarks. Upgrade the existing tracks bringing life back to small communities that would benefit from the extra income. Reopen closed stations. Have longer schedules to accommodate travelers who may want to explore a small historical community. There are so many ways the FRA could help the economy instead of piling on more debt to taxpayers and destroy these areas. Shameful

We are expecting an announcement of the NEC Future Record of Decision today at 11 am!

+ View previous comments

For the last 17 months, staff at SECoast and our statewide partner, the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, have worked incredibly hard to oppose federal plans for high-speed rail through coastal Connecticut and southern Rhode Island.

We have spent well over 3500 man-hours on the project; developed a legal strategy with environmental and preservation lawyers in Washington D.C., New Haven, San Francisco, and New York; submitted a 13,000 word public comment; led off rallies and meetings in Greenwich, Guilford, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, New London, Mystic, Stonington, Pawcatuck, and Charlestown; organized a research team that twice uncovered wrongdoing on the part of the Federal Railroad Administration. We brought critical media attention, which generated well over 100 media articles in Politico, AP, Bloomberg, Providence Journal, Hartford Courant, New London Day, Westerly Sun, New Haven Register, Greenwich Time, Stamford Hour, and Connecticut Mirror... the Federal Railroad Administration has received more than 8000 public comments since December 2016. Weve put together a professional, effective, campaign on a shoestring.

Im not going to beat around the bush. Back in January 2016, when other larger organizations were reluctant to sign on, the Connecticut Trust answered the call. Since then, the Connecticut Trust has been the only statewide organization in southern New England to devote significant time or resources to NEC Future. 

Now were asking for your help. With budgets as they are in Hartford, your donations are critical to our financial health, and our ability to advocate for you. Please please consider donating to the Connecticut Trust. Its easy. You can donate by check or credit card, just click here to find out how... 

http://secoast.org/donate/

With your help, were only just getting started...

For the last 17 months, staff at SECoast and our statewide partner, the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, have worked incredibly hard to oppose federal plans for high-speed rail through coastal Connecticut and southern Rhode Island.

We have spent well over 3500 man-hours on the project; developed a legal strategy with environmental and preservation lawyers in Washington D.C., New Haven, San Francisco, and New York; submitted a 13,000 word public comment; led off rallies and meetings in Greenwich, Guilford, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, New London, Mystic, Stonington, Pawcatuck, and Charlestown; organized a research team that twice uncovered wrongdoing on the part of the Federal Railroad Administration. We brought critical media attention, which generated well over 100 media articles in Politico, AP, Bloomberg, Providence Journal, Hartford Courant, New London Day, Westerly Sun, New Haven Register, Greenwich Time, Stamford Hour, and Connecticut Mirror... the Federal Railroad Administration has received more than 8000 public comments since December 2016. We've put together a professional, effective, campaign on a shoestring.

I'm not going to beat around the bush. Back in January 2016, when other larger organizations were reluctant to sign on, the Connecticut Trust answered the call. Since then, the Connecticut Trust has been the only statewide organization in southern New England to devote significant time or resources to NEC Future.

Now we're asking for your help. With budgets as they are in Hartford, your donations are critical to our financial health, and our ability to advocate for you. Please please consider donating to the Connecticut Trust. It's easy. You can donate by check or credit card, just click here to find out how...

secoast.org/donate/

With your help, we're only just getting started...
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4 months ago

Comment on Facebook

Just donated in honor of the extraordinary work that Gregory Stroud has undertaken on behalf of Connecticut coastal communities.

Thank you for an outstanding effort! There is no substitute for commitment, intelligence and hard work.

Sent a check - thank you all for the great job you're doing - tremendous effort

I have mixed feelings about this. Shouldn't we betraying to revive our rail system to get cars off the roads and cut back on pollution?

Thank you for all you do!

I like the idea of high speed rail through coastal ct

Just sent a contribution with special thanks to Gregory Stroud.

+ View previous comments

A quick reminder... tomorrow is your chance to help shape what you want out of the State Historic Preservation Office.  The meeting is scheduled for The Pavilion at Saybrook Point Park, 155 College Street, Old Saybrook, CT June 27, 7:00 to 9:00 PM.

A quick reminder... tomorrow is your chance to help shape what you want out of the State Historic Preservation Office. The meeting is scheduled for The Pavilion at Saybrook Point Park, 155 College Street, Old Saybrook, CT June 27, 7:00 to 9:00 PM. ... See MoreSee Less

4 months ago

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