Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SR0273
Illinois General Assembly

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Full Text of SR0273  96th General Assembly



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2     WHEREAS, Many communities throughout the Chicago area have
3 already begun experiencing public safety issues and serious
4 traffic congestion due to the acquisition of the Elgin, Joliet
5 and Eastern (EJ&E) railroad by Canadian National Railway; and
6     WHEREAS, In Aurora, Barrington, Barrington Hills,
7 Barrington Township, Bartlett, Deer Park, DuPage County,
8 Hawthorn Woods, Lake Zurich, Naperville, New Lenox,
9 Plainfield, and Wayne and Will Counties, along with other
10 communities along the EJ&E line, Canadian National freight
11 trains have been blocking critical roadways and creating a
12 dangerous public safety situation for police, fire, and
13 emergency vehicles; and
14     WHEREAS, The federal Surface Transportation Board (STB)
15 has the regulatory authority over railroad acquisitions and
16 mergers and can assist these communities with this urgent
17 problem; and
18     WHEREAS, The Surface Transportation Board's three-member
19 governing body has a vacancy due to the departure of board
20 member W. Douglas Buttrey in March of 2009; therefore, be it



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1 ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we urge President Obama
2 to appoint a new Surface Transportation Board member quickly;
3 and be it further
4     RESOLVED, That we state our belief that this STB member
5 should be someone who will take into consideration significant
6 community impacts related to public safety, noise, vibration,
7 traffic congestion, and other environmental concerns when
8 evaluating railroad acquisitions and mergers; and be it further
9     RESOLVED, That we further urge President Obama to choose
10 someone for the STB seat who has extensive knowledge of
11 transportation, freight, and shipping issues, as well as
12 someone who can objectively weigh the benefits of railroad
13 expansion against the infrastructure costs necessary to
14 mitigate significant community impacts; and be it further
15     RESOLVED, That we also urge President Obama to choose a
16 Board nominee who will consider population growth and economic
17 impact when evaluating railway acquisitions, mergers, and
18 other Surface Transportation Board regulatory issues; and be it
19 further
20     RESOLVED, That we inform President Obama that the State of
21 Illinois will, to the greatest extent possible, give
22 consideration in the programming of railroad funds and



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1 rail-to-road grade separation project funds to projects where
2 the federal Surface Transportation Board has ordered a private
3 entity to partially fund improvements necessary to mitigate
4 impacts at significantly affected grade crossings; and be it
5 further
6     RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be sent
7 to President Obama, the Chicago-area members of the United
8 States House of Representatives, the Illinois delegation of the
9 United States Senate, and the members of the Surface
10 Transportation Board.