I recently read in the Herald about the conflict between the cities wanting to connect shopping areas off Gage Boulevard and the Tri-Cities Railroad Co. opposing the proposal. Both sides seem to be fighting for a lose-lose position.
The best solution is to have a nonimpact railroad crossing, either bridge over or tunnel underneath the existing tracks. It's understandable that the costs are more significant and prohibitive. But if the past is any indication of the future, the railroad and the Tri-Cities will continue to grow. Any plan should support future growth and the best win-win solution is to have a nonimpact crossing.
Obviously, some will say the cost of this is extremely prohibitive. But how important is that connection. It seems fairly important to me. If the area, below Columbia Center is expected to have good growth, it really needs that connection with the shoppers. Those numbers weren't in the article, so the public isn't privy to data that could give solid opinions about the merits one way of the other.
With the community's experience in Kennewick and its impacted crossings, efforts should be made to have a nonimpact crossing.
MARK NAULTY, West Richland