Sugar Land/Missouri City residents offer opinions
By Karen Daniels
Last week’s article concerning Union Pacific’s plan to add a second track down Highway 90A this summer was a call to action from Mayor Scarcella of Stafford. The Fort Bend Star thought it was appropriate to ask for the opinions of Missouri City and Sugar Land since this would effect their citizens as well. Here are there official responses:
Sugar Land: “The city has learned that Union Pacific Railroad plans to build a second railroad track along the U.S. Highway 90A corridor to ease train congestion, improve safety, and allow for two-way traffic through Sugar Land. UPRR says the double tracks will reduce the need for trains to stop at sidings to pass each other, resulting in quicker train travel through Sugar Land and reduced wait times for drivers at crossings. The City is working closely with UPRR to clearly understand the proposed project and influence a positive outcome for the City.”
Missouri City: “Missouri City is aware of Union Pacific’s announcement and the advantages they see to their company and the community. We appreciate their consideration of how this second track will impact our City, and we will be in discussions with them to help assure there will be no detrimental effect to our citizens,” Mayor Allen Owen.
In addition, the Fort Bend Star spoke with residents of both Missouri City and Sugar Land to learn about their thoughts and concerns on the matter. For the most part, citizens were not in favor of a second track; however, some did not have a problem with it, like Roberta Selesky, resident of Covington Woods for over twenty-one years. She said, “I’ve ridden Amtrak and experienced how much stopping and starting is involved in areas with one track. It takes a lot of power for a train to get back up to speed. A second track will mean less wait time. I also see this a progress for our City.”
The following comments were made by a Missouri City resident who wanted to remain anonymous, but has live in the Fort Bend area for over fifty years. He said, “As it has been pointed out, the right-of-way already exists and the railroad does not need our permission to do this. I truly expect the reason behind the addition of another rail is to accommodate more rail traffic. I do not recall a road being widened to save gas…and not increasing the traffic.”
Former Council Member and Sugar Mill resident for over thirty years, Dennis Parmer, had this to say, “It is inevitable that a second track will increase train traffic on the Highway 90A Corridor. With the expansion of the Panama Canal, larger ships with container freight will have access to ports along the Gulf of Mexico. Any train traffic that will be relieved due to adding a second track will be offset by more trains traveling through our City. The question becomes, how do we ensure safety, noise control, and quality of life for the residents.”
A good question indeed.