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  1. To comment on the loop siding for freight trains proposal, I thought that the City of Lake Forest was waiting to learn more from an impact report on Amtrak proposal. This proposal has long been in the works to give Lake Forest an Amtrak stop plus three more trains between Chicago and Milwaukee daily. This would increase access to Lake Forest for potential home buyers and give residents faster access to Chicago, access to Mitchell Field airport, and to Milwaukee. The freights would sit on the loop siding only to allow faster trains to pass, not long term, as trains do now on the UP line just east of Route 41. More heat than light perhaps on both sides of the question has been generated, and the called-for environmental study should be done as well as a consultant report on the positive impact reality of the Amtrak changes proposed that led to the sidings proposal. The risks are incremental, given one derailment in 2017, with no record I’ve seen yet of one later than the 19th century. All the deciding should wait for dispassionate studies of the pros and cons.

    • Whether the City Council determines to proceed with spending $13M to build an underpass for an Amtrak stop in Lake Forest has nothing to do with the Hiawatha Services EA Proposal to build a three mile holding track where freight rains can idle for indefinite amounts of time. There is nothing in the WisDOT and IDOT funded Quandel Study recommending the siding tracks that includes an Amtrak stop in Lake Forest. If the City of Lake Forest decided to wait until the final EA report is released, valuable time would be lost in communicating to decision makers about the serious environmental and quality of life concerns that this project would mean for our community. It would be advisable for our citizens to learn about what a train yard (because that is what siding rails are considered and the impacts are the same) would mean for the health, safety, and well being of our children (six schools and the west campus athletic field are in close proximity to the holding track proposal and would have carcnogenic diesel particulates sucked into their HVAC systems). There is no limit to how long freight trains can sit idling right through our Middlefork savanna, which is a jewel of our community and where schools and universities come to study the pristine and rare species that exist in this natural treasure. To have a freight train yard in our community changes the very character of Lake Forest and would be a serious deterrent to welcoming people to make Lake Forest their home. The Village of Glenview has been working with its residents in fighting the EA proposed holding track for their community for four years because they are aware of the irreversible damage that it would cause for their community. There will be Lake Forest community forum presented by Citizens for ACTION on April 25th at 7:00 at the Gorton Center. You can also learn more on our website at http://www.NoThirdRail.com and on our Facebook page at No Third Rail. Please come to the Forum and learn.

  2. I see that the Chase bank has received approval to build a branch on the former McDonald’s site. I just wanted to point out that the southeast corner of Everett and Waukegan–where there was once a gas station and a Pasquesi nursery–has been vacant for a couple of years. And there isn’t one single bank on that side of the intersection! Maybe another bank would like to occupy that site. Apparently there’s no such thing as too many banks.

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