High Speed Fail Won't

Tillicum wishes Lakewood well in its attempt to stop the train from leaving the station but count on a circular file as the lawsuit's final destination.

Of course we out here in Tillicum wish the City of Lakewood well - in the just announced lawsuit - in derailing High Speed Fail given it’s our community that is "isolated,” and it is our neighborhood that “has the most to lose from the project.”

However, given the track record of our community in conflict with the City, my guess is this lawsuit will end up in the same circular file ours did when fighting Lakewood to keep Camp Murray traffic from running through our town.

On a par with what the City now charges WSDOT’s rail project as “factually incorrect” and “makes clear that this (the environmental review) was merely a bureaucratic exercise,” similarly did Dave Bugher, Lakewood’s Assistant City Manager, charge the Washington Military Department (WMD) in what Tillicum thought was then on our behalf.

In a September 16, 2010 twelve-page letter to Thomas Skjervold, Division of Facilities and Grounds for the WMD, Bugher declared WMD’s environmental review “Document and Process Inadequate;” “Need not established;” “Alternatives not thoroughly vetted;” and further complained of unaddressed impacts upon “Land use;” “Air Quality;” “Environmental justice;” “Impacts upon Children;” “Impacts upon Transportation;” and more.

To what avail?

Our community lost a legal battle.  We lost a measure of faith in representative government.  We lost even more trust that city leaders were honest brokers of a legal system that would give us our day in court only to find out in the 11th hour – after hundreds of out-of-pocket dollars, and as many pages of documents – that, due to technical difficulties the show - and that’s all it was, or as Lakewood calls WSDOT’s environmental review “merely a bureaucratic exercise” - was over.

Anti-climatically, Tillicum would find itself undone by “a technicality.”  The Tacoma News Tribune reported that “the city and military department had asked the court to dismiss the appeal because state law bars judicial review of right-of-way  permits.”  Which ROW going in all parties must have  known was what the court case was all about.

Crying over spilt milk? 

Just hope Lakewood has a better outcome in its battle with the WSDOT behemoth than our tiny community had with the City. 

Otherwise, should High Speed Rail not fail to run our life-congested neighborhood through, it’s just a matter of time before it’s about spilt blood.

Much documentation is available at www.communitymattersweb.com as to
the real reason WSDOT is pushing this project and what is in reality fueling the
engine on this train and what the consequences, given the train’s accident statistics on its current route, will be.   

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Tegra March 29, 2013 at 08:43 PM
Thank you David....for all of your time and efforts...and your well written and to the point message.
Ellen M March 29, 2013 at 09:07 PM
The "train though the town" was a done deal as soon as there was federal money in the pot. There was never any attempt to ever consider an alternate route other than careening through Lakewood, Tillicum and Dupont. WSDOT has to be the most incompetent department in our state government, however, with federal dollars in their hand, everything is simply a formality. Lakewood's lawsuit is at best going to get some abatement recourse for some residents, but the likelihood that Tillicum or the area affected in Lakewood are among them is minescule. These areas simply do not have the economic or political clout to derail the WSDOT plans. It wont be until the trains are stopping traffic every hour and snarling JBLM egress that anyone will realize that the bumbling WSDOT has once again made traffic worse - all for 10 minutes saving for commuters going from Seattle to Portland in 60% full trains. No economic benetits will be gleaned by towns along the corridor, nor will any convenient access to rail use be created. Again it will be Lakewood, Tillicum and Dupont paying the price. Oh yeah ... WSDOT says there is no pice to be paid ... benefit for all ..... all of whom?


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