Planes, Trains & Tolls

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp said of Tweed-New Haven Airport just this week, after meeting with Gov. Lamon about the runway extension and more, that she's eager to “mitigate neighborhood concerns and realize the potential of this facility for the convenient use of thousands of additional Connecticut air travelers.” Mitigate pretty much means ignore.

And why not? Earlier in July, in a unanimous decision, the court ruled that the state statute limiting the length of the runway is preempted by federal law, and therefore invalid. The ruling, assuming the state does not appeal it, would clear the way for Tweed to pave portions of the existing, unpaved runway safety areas to increase the effective length of the runway for takeoff.

Meantime, last year Amtrak invested $370 million over an estimated three-year period for new equipment that will "improve the overall experience for those traveling along the Northeast Corridor." Whatever THAT means.

Even so, Gov. Lamont remains certain that tolls are necessary to generate the revenue our crumbling infrastructure here in Connecticut so desperately needs. Which would be curious, as it was just noted that Amtrak invested close to $400 mil, ostensibly, for that very same reason.

And Amtrak calls all the shots as far as the railways are concerned 'round these parts, too. Pictured here, a DOT train (ie State of CT train) sitting behind houses in a residential neighborhood on the Shoreline. This has been going on for no less than six months, with those questioned saying it's all due to Amtrak "telling them where and when to park."

DEEP contends there is a three-minute idling rule in place, but many residents have documented trains idling for closer to three hours. DEEP responded to concerned tax-paying homeowners with a letter stating "the next time this happens call us and if an inspector is in the area he or she will be dispatched to see for themselves." Evidently the many cell phone clips weren't proof enough.

Pictured here, interestingly, is one particular train that has parked in the same area for hours every day at the same time since Spring began - despite the announcement that Amtrak's project would take only three weeks incrementally, in each area. Until recently it was suspected by residents to be several blocks long. Instead, as you can see, it's more like the length of three homes, which begs the question Why the same three homes every day for months?

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