A NIMBY Never Goes Away.
That is not to say that in many instances they don’t have legitimate beefs, but untold millions are spent in sincere efforts to satisfy whatever concerns they may have and—trust me on this—they are never satisfied.
My favorite is still the guy on the Easy Coast of Florida who is virulently opposed to the Brightline passenger trains that will soon be running between Miami and Orlando. He says the increase in rail traffic will mean that many more times he’ll have to wait for a drawbridge to open allowing his yacht access to the sea.
And that brings us to a handful of folks in Brunswick, Maine. That’s the northern terminus of Amtrak’s immensely popular train, the Downeaster. It runs several times a day between Boston’s North Station and Brunswick, a town of some 20,000 people about 30 miles north of Portland.
It’s a two-and-a-half hour ride from Boston to Portland and another 40 minutes or so on up to Brunswick. It’s easy for folks living along the train’s route to pop on down to Boston for a day of shopping or to attend an afternoon Red Sox game followed by a dinner in the city’s North End. Then they catch the Downeaster and they’re back home in plenty of time for a good night’s sleep.
And therein lies the problem.
One of the Downeaster trainsets has to sit in the Brunswick rail yard overnight, ready to make the run back to Boston the next morning. It didn’t take long for residents near the rail yard to raise a ruckus, complaining about idling engines, diesel fumes and noise. One of the loudest and most persistent complainers has been a guy named Charlie. He doesn’t live anywhere near the rail yard, of course, but he’s a developer with property near the rail facility.
At any rate, in an effort to satisfy Charlie and the other people whose lives have been “ruined” by The Downeaster, a 60,000 square foot train shed was built. It’s 665 feet long and the whole damn thing was soundproofed. I have no idea how much it cost or who paid for it, but are Charlie and the handful of other NIMBYs satisfied? Of course not!