WWL>Topics>>10-9 2pm Angela, Middle Belt Railroad

10-9 2pm Angela, Middle Belt Railroad

Oct 9, 2014|

Angela talks to community leaders from Hollygrove, Shrewsbury and Old Jefferson about the controversial plan to re-route the Middle Belt Railroad

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well it's same song different verse. Neighbor heard learning that discussions going on to -- Re route the train that goes too old Metairie to go through several New Orleans neighborhoods. Really. Change a train route because the wealthy old -- neighborhood is weary of waiting on the train to pass. Concerned about what cargo was on the train and fearful of any catastrophic accidents. So the solution is to move it to a couple of New Orleans neighborhoods that aren't as well thing. Well here's the latest chapter. The rerouting won't just affect holly grove in parts of mid city in New Orleans. It will also have an effect in the old Jefferson and shrew it's very neighborhoods in Jefferson -- action. So it isn't a battle between Jefferson Parish in New Orleans. It's a battle between Jefferson Parish and New Orleans and Jefferson neighborhoods. Neighborhoods who are now joining forces to fight this monumental. Re routing of the middle belt real road. So put yourself in their shoes how would you feel. Joining us to talk about their concerns. -- Williams spokesperson for the old Metairie community and a member of the coalition. United against the middle belt and that is old Jefferson community. Karen Coker also a member of the coalition united against the middle belt. Should -- chairs a resident of the shrewd bearing neighborhood. Pastor Thomas nunnery also of the -- is very neighborhood. And Robert Earl Williams from the holly grove neighborhood and chairman of the coalition united against the middle -- We have got a game here and it makes me happy because I'd love people who care about the neighborhood to what's going on. I used the term same song different verse because we have found on a couple of programs. As the good reverend will tell you. On this issue of the train. That goes too old Metairie being rerouted into New Orleans neighborhoods. And then all of a sudden we learned that it's also been going through a couple of Jefferson -- Shall what do you all think is going on. What do you think is -- First of -- until we like to thank you for the opportunity to present it to educate our. -- public constituents. A -- a quick update since the last time we met we did have a meeting at Esperanza school. Well we talked about -- which is in national environmental policy act you know with. Issues with -- railroads that the public has to be brought involved that there has to be an environmental impact study. We met we had about a 150 people there in the neighborhoods. Basically isolated the potential problems and I want going today as some of the other people speak about that but due to. To the researcher Karen we found out much to my surprise that choose -- which is in Jefferson Parish would also be affected -- Israel quickly. Is that is kinda it's kind of an oddity that parish president John Young has been advocating for one part of Jefferson Parish or Metairie. Whereas another applauded gifts in Paris has totally been -- out of the equation. Talked to meet wonderful people for interest -- what's going through your mind when you first heard this. Like that. Are broken through barriers young men Wimbledon. In the gym now. Our food there has been forgotten communities. We had good for a -- went there for the mean immunity meaning millions. Then we had ought or chemical plant there in through that and those who -- deflect we have well. Alone beat the president council on there. Forgot about -- that little neighborhood. But we're here to let him know that we -- my point totally down -- that's going to go out and we don't want to join together. And we have a -- community we help -- Five churches we call them -- All the food -- their community connection church that is flow from all the battle Robinson. Well past the green got the skills. And myself. We all the churches who -- -- committed to note that we gonna be out on the sixteenth. Of October in support of this and hoping that we could. Get them understand that what we'll do commitment. Is my understanding that you all were unaware of this. Okay when did you learn it we learned through the other community organizations in Arlene. Can -- contacted me. And she informed us that. This was going to be going on in our neighborhood. So we invited her to one of our community organization meetings to explain to our our neighbors what was going on and what she -- She complied they came out. Gave us information with some cement and for that they shared they'd be it from their previous meeting. And from there. We've just been trying to get the word out. To our neighbors as -- what's gonna happen in behind their house some Ashley did you wall I call the parish president or call them. Department of Transportation say women were unaware of this. -- -- The president of our organization which is very contacted mr. John Young opted -- -- streak. Person our. Area. Mr. Johnston. He wasn't on that they will be sending a represented. 22 hour until the sixteenth meet. We have also contacted via. That companies have real -- The Department of Transportation. And they have refused to meet with acts. We requested some information. As to what was playing. The same information that the other neighborhoods had been given. There -- youth stating that. Some things had changed in that they would prepare. To wait until those corrections added in May be put they gave us any and makes. Well you know we're gonna do we're gonna have to take a break but I want everyone to stay with this -- gonna continue to talk about this because it's just a very important issue. For now all kinds of neighborhoods stay with us we'll be right back. Well I think their email -- -- at all it's www. -- won't be railroaded dot com. And what we're talking about his organization that has now combine two different groups of combined. Very very concerned about the middle belt railroad. Being moved from where it is into their neighborhoods. And I think there's also concern about sort of non communication at this time but let's let's paint the picture for our listeners. Where's the railroad now. And where did they wanna move it. The -- currently runs through old Metairie -- this segment of the railroad runs through old Metairie. It's. Comes. You know for me from near Huey. It crosses near air -- an airline and rents will matter in. What is being proposed is to shift that to run -- sure is -- in Jefferson perish or Jefferson. And then too I'll follow along -- hard to a dog leg. Two airline. On through holly groove -- in -- there. Then. Do you hair -- very sharp turn underneath of I ten on there would be some significant roadway construction required for that. I'm they would have to essentially raise -- right hand which would have regional impact on and then they would make it very sharp turn through mid city -- to return. To where it meets what they called back belt on they would be calling this the middle belt. On in the front that runs along the river to the port arms so there were three options they've already knocked the front belt off the table. Arm and said that leads on these two options in we've. Heard that this is the preferred alternative the middle -- And and why why do they want to do it is. The problem the basic problem that all matters has complained about. As congestion on all matter hero which in reality. Is a problem. But all better was often mitigation. And that. They would go from they offered them the option to go from seventeen crossings to three. And the crossing on all Metairie road would be elevated silly essentially it would eliminate the problem that old Metairie. Has expressed primary concern when it. OK and we have heard those concerns and it it is an area that is grown up a great deal and traffic can become an issue and with the elevation. Is. You know that would solve it right now with him to do all of Fisher talking about the hair -- turns the new work on the I ten. If you elevate it I'll have to say that I hit. John Young is very good about coming on this program in the last Tommy was on I asked him about that -- -- you will not see an elevation is very against it. I don't understand that you know and again I haven't been to these meetings but it just common sense says to create. To go through all of these neighborhoods shrew is bearing in mid city and holly grove. Re routing all of this and all of the work to be around -- -- -- much less a look at the pictures here of the hair pin turns. If god forbid anything ever happened to that train. Whatever its handling. Catastrophic. Catastrophic sell anyway I'm getting all my opinions but like I keep looking at this I keep listening fuel I just don't understand it. Can you imagine how can this guy I think it would be if there was an explosion on any of these tracks with these -- -- its -- chemicals that would be there. Where is surrounded by neighborhood those train tracks cup a lot of Mary yes yes they do it there's an explosion. They -- night. What's going to happen school -- Well and we didn't I do agree that beyond imported mural started accepting crude. -- which actually already runs through Houston. On including docking created. And that is since 2013. And there was some talk in an article about building a big storage tank. You know we don't know exactly what's bound cargo is traveling on the middle belt now on but we do know that a lot of it of the large percentage is hazardous chemical. Com and flammable. But Shuster would stand to gain it's I think it's I think it's seven additional tracks based on the 2007 feasibility study. And the standing trains would be moved to bomb a less populated areas to. Teachers who pretty much outside of the neighborhood of trees very. I'm additionally they were talking about. Are exploring the closure of the crossing at central avenue which may be the only crossing this besides highly crossings that's. Laughter they haven't closed already. And I'll use this as a quick segue back to issues there. Pol -- of the need to act requires that all the affected every SP upon of the scoping meeting which was -- then. Odd years two years ago and choose bear was not informed -- -- legally they should have been on that should have been at the scoping meeting. So left out and only now under special guest some very community's most homeowners. New home and put those who may not know. The boundaries and perimeters to is learn from your heart truth of her room. From the report details how that's segment iPhone okay your heart to off shrewd very road. From the removed two -- -- to a remote to relate to. The balance. And that's that's a nice chunk of that and you you again have trains now. What you're saying is -- these would be additional tracks -- -- and his visit to stand up -- Man it within England's I think -- and it being a total of something like nine trains and that doesn't include the light rail passenger -- that they're talking about a separate study them. -- I think of something like nine. -- And as a resident. As a resident. I'm concerned about the pollution and noise. Out property value going down. Calm the violations that they were probably ignore. Isn't blue it's so many things -- being -- and that affected. As their neighborhood. And I don't think they consider -- -- -- they kind of looked at us like an industrial area like there's no folks that live there. So we're gonna fight this -- and you know and I kind of -- this. Well. Tuesday. You heart global. Ran right in -- -- -- while great. In his development right. Right in the middle of that mostly young Malone -- Q completely playground. Equipment. And so we've been left on the -- -- twelve point one. Who injured district council person. Pepper Johnson Johnson yet and so you you understand that either she or someone from this city hall of the parish repair -- is going to feature October 16 meeting yet. I'm a little disturbed that they that the media department transportation hasn't wanted to talk to you. Absolutely you know what do you think that is. I really can't tell you it makes you wonder. Why you -- For it's not include a senior a regional meetings. And then repeat those who share the information that you've already given to other -- it. So yes that I'm very suspicious. As to why they won't speak with -- Why are they holding us on the back nine. I'd like some answers on. And I think that even just some of the things I shared that there were three options. That the very basic information this community doesn't have any of that information. And so that information isn't going to change. And so for them to not come and present that to me is very questionable home. Now and very disturbing actually yeah it is distressing to cut them out. Stay with -- everyone not we're not finish with a discussion we're talking about major changes to. Now many neighborhoods we'll be right back Buckingham. Concerning the middle belt railroad right now it goes through it has around -- she was saying from the Huey. And they the proposal is to re -- it in and doing that it is is is just a tremendous. Undertaking. Two to shift this. Real world but it will affect several neighborhoods -- Orleans parish now we -- that it will be also in the truth bury old Jefferson neighborhoods as well. As well as the I can't. Right and -- night when you look at the pictures and you know pictures say a lot these little hair -- turns I'm thinking I live on a railroad track. On the water. If they had to make it a hairpin turn until my breath every time. So. I'm just so curious. Why. One would say let's make all of these changes. To accommodate what is a real problem might feel badly for the people on -- -- who sit and wait for the dead on trains. It's better senator it is a pain. But isn't there a simpler alternative. Than going through your neighborhoods. Again we are with people who -- not far from the truth during neighborhood there's no coalition of money you tell us about. What the coalition. Both Orleans and -- Jefferson. Joining hands. What are you doing. It's a concerted effort to. I mean and this is -- quickly. Holly go with that dollar was left out of the picture and we didn't find out about it -- kind of -- to the article was printed in the times Picayune. And it's it's a matter of it's it's a matter what this country's about government of the people by the people and for the people. And the problem is is that the people as a whole we've been that out of this of the equation. The coalition what we're doing is we bring in the affected people took that together and we say. Constitutionally. We have -- is because we the government of the people by the people and won the people. And so you have. Gotten a very strong group. That would include the cities include holly grove it was but what -- it was just how hot room Dixon -- -- -- Negotiating now -- and all of the people understand this is going to change their life and their neighborhood. Absolutely and now we are joined by people interest burial Jefferson who like you didn't know -- That's bothersome. But that's another tunnel. And so now. Wisely you joined hands and you're going to have this -- on October 16 to explain to anyone who lives in that area and certainly if you're listening. You don't want to miss this meeting is going to be October 16 630 at mount -- and marine ministries. 3034 and over street that's interest -- and this again is two of the meeting to reroute the -- -- freight trains through the neighborhoods. What happens if they say. You know what this is the way it has to be. Well. One of the things that they tried to force on us. John Young was I had a conversation with him and he was telling you about the benefits of litigation. Which is five commander -- commanders. But one of the things that they've tried to sell us on this that we can get sound barriers that we can get treaties. And they basically did it trying to sell us that. In and also to -- -- this with that the problem with the flooding on I ten. And so they've they've tried to combine this issue with many of the issues insane that if we go along with this -- they'll be benefits. To other areas and also to the communities but it. Let me -- -- real quickly when you do that cost benefits analysis yet they are some minor benefits. But the cost toy exceed the benefits and as a result is not a good is that a good decision but none of from the the communities involved Hester out than a cost. Applied. What this is gonna tank absolutely not. There are some estimate it costs in one of the previous studies and the middle now is more expensive I don't know how significantly GA you right here and the numbers it's about 800 million close to a billion that thing through as of last week you -- -- right care to disclose to begin doubtless. So let's roundup. A billion dollars and that's coming from the federal government. Federal government I think also participation. Alec cares beaten and I'm actually not Adam and don't have those numbers with means much. So but that is it's more federal manages or is that the railroad company as a federal money for. Perhaps some private money from confederate from the reverence themselves. I -- I believe they were behind at 2009 benefits report malveaux great benefits. You know this man. And and again what are some of the great benefit. Well that flood mitigation and one of the issues I have with that is -- talking about removing one dip in Arlington but we don't know that if the city flights. You know there's a large portion of I ten underwater and so that may help in in a rainstorm whenever -- pumping capacity. On the other issue that they're talking about is seventeenth street canal. There -- hoping to benefit will be they don't have to do close the floodgates that would stop the free real. Bomb but you know they could do you know pass couldn't -- where they could find some other way to mitigate without. Pushing this off on on African American neighborhoods in Orleans Jefferson pairs. You know and they've been trying to move this since the 1950s. I think ever since they actually before they built the -- -- interchange by Carrollton avenue. They actually sued to try to stop the building of that interchange because they wanted to move on to trains to Orleans at that time. When they put in the passenger rail. On -- at that time the passenger what was dedicated specifically only for passenger use and so. On something has shifted in recent years. Where they're going to try to put the freight on passenger lines and in danger for passengers. Bottom line is what they're trying to do is export the problems. Of one community of the wealthy. Wealthy community to poorer neighborhoods. We have problems issues very we have problems and how to -- in this city but we're not trying to export -- problems other communities. That's the problem here. Stay with -- every one gives a call if you have any questions or thoughts to 60187. Day. Financial and we'll be right back. It. Well we're talking about moving the railroads and not neighborhoods that are very upset about it and I'm so glad we have a caller Mike. Hello Mike. Yes your thoughts on this. Trying. Out -- You are trained person. Strike okay. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- I don't Jew -- -- -- that it ought to come out well they have. But it Aussie. Aussie jewelry and -- That's again it's a little more intimate but the big agency. Well. Now there's -- you. In. He -- in. This place on the capitol. But you understand the concern of these people. Oh. Let me just getting out of any popular community. But that the concern of the the hairpin turn and that. As one who works on a train is that an issue or are there -- safety. That things to protect those turns. Then there are concerned. We don't go fast enough. With those freight trains. Though it. Interest. We go. And should be. So it did. That would do trying to join a train -- so much -- 6000. Not out times. It is you know. Solidify if it turns. Two pages public. Mike I really appreciate you calling and we -- got -- callers always listened and just stay in touch with us we appreciate that to you -- trained person giving your thoughts. I'll let go due to Katherine national matter. And yes. I'm you know -- and and the saudis an early fifties and my father and it contributed money should. The builder of the past aren't on the plant on the railroad tracks -- Metairie road and what -- what's the matter with that situation I mean nothing's -- enough about it. No -- actually that's my question and that's when I asked not parish president John Young is why not an overpass. Who would just seem to simplest round and he just says it's not gonna happen. And I would like him to elaborate in -- again he's very good about coming on the show the next time we will talk about it but it's interesting that even way back that discussion. Men and women out there early and you've got to admit our. And now so long ago and much different acquired him. Pop -- front of the situation not in -- What I like in my own milk thank you for calling -- not rename. Hello. I live all in -- who know. How can block and white at -- Yes. Can -- up -- Twenty minutes or. Get my way there. Melissa I'm here he got it back -- mean ships. Or pork and there are. -- -- They either need to have a train. And you -- For. Mean it's a two lane street and are gonna hurt and being there which. Somebody is going to. Now -- each and every person sitting in the studio will agree with you it is a problem on Metairie road there is no doubt about it. But is the solution re routing it to other neighborhoods. Well you know when. You look at. Property tax -- and find out where. -- -- Oh where what people. Are. Are we would. Guarantee more people are affected by the and it would be and other area because they get more -- what -- Well -- some of these people an argument that but let let me ask you what the other lady just called what about an overpass. Wouldn't that resolve the biggest complaint about congestion. I think or I think she you. I don't know how. Korean and -- I'm just not shore I mean it was just start. 88. Short tracks are male and you Lou businesses to do. -- -- -- -- They're actually our plans and 2007 feasibility study you can. Actually access them on -- to department of transportation's project page. For the New Orleans real gateway comments he can see I think some of the designs they've had and what impact it would have on Metairie on -- as I understand it -- he was. I'm going back to last call I'm was offered that mitigation in Orleans took that mitigation back in the fifties. That's why the overpass and make -- canal boulevard is raised our long. I attend -- Jeff Davis from those we we took hours and -- has refused to take bears arms -- just -- -- the last call. They were offered that in the past -- not -- and again I don't think anybody in this room. Doesn't feel badly for those who have like you living two blocks from. More frequent guests sitting. I don't know I know exactly what your -- I live on train tracks I live on the front ultimate of the they call I sit there and wait two and hold my breath and it's a pain. But I also move their knowing it was there. So well and it. Broke out. -- it gotten worse when your number. Number. You know you need to work. And people. Money it will be. Well I I think when we're gonna have to go but I think you bring up the point that ultimately they're going to be looking at all kinds of things and I think they're gonna. Perhaps look at some of these neighborhoods more is neighborhoods. Then as the industrial areas they think they are. Because there -- an awful lot of people like Q. Who care a great deal about their neighborhoods I really appreciate your call -- I cannot thank each and every one of you for being with -- we're gonna stay on this it's not over we'll be right back. Again that meeting is going to be October 16 that the mountain Ryan marine not ministries on Andover street in truce -- If you care about this be there again October 16 6:30 in the evening thanks for joining us thanks for all of our callers and I think each and every one of.