The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Baltimore:
CSX Forced to Back-Track

Sep 15, 2014

Maryland’s transportation department, Baltimore City, and CSX finally backed down from plans to build a 24-hour rail-to-truck transfer facility in residential Morrell Park-Violetville after more than two years of opposition by these working-class communities.

CSX planned to run 150 trucks a day, as many as 40 an hour, through an area the size of almost 50 football fields. Maryland offered to help CSX with 32 million dollars of the set-up costs.

The huge number of trucks was sure to mean dangerous diesel fumes, traffic safety problems, disruptive noise, night-time lighting, and hazardous waste spills. Morrell Park and Violetville already have higher than average death rates from cancer and respiratory disease.

Neighbors held many community association meetings and rallies, collected more than 1,000 signatures, got the support of 20 other neighborhoods. But for two years public officials ignored them and CSX officials refused to answer their questions. But the community protests grew!

Finally announcing the withdrawal of the plan, Maryland’s Transportation Secretary admitted, “The political will of elected officials usually doesn’t collapse of its own initiative; it usually collapses because the community revolts and says it just doesn't want it.”

It seems a few more revolts are in order. Quite a few!