Letter: Rail upgrades promised but never delivered

To the Editors:
Jeannette Ross’s piece in the April 16 edition of The Bulletin points up the politicians’ perpetual ploy. The project is “Danbury Branch Improvements — 2030.” The political class want to impart the perception of motion, movement, progress on the elusive grandiose plans for upgrading the Danbury line. It’s the “Live in Hope, Die in Despair” approach to placating the beleaguered ridership. Promise everything, deliver nothing. There’s one problem: They’ve been promising that grandiosity for the past 20 years. And nothing has happened — oh, forgive me, I’m mistaken: Bad things have happened. The ride and commuting times have gotten much worse since our politicians promised successive Danbury line grandiosity since 1991, when I began my daily commute from Wilton. That’s what happens when elected officials responsible to us for our transportation needs allow it to deteriorate to the point at which it needs a massive infusion of funds over too long a period of time.
Our representatives — Senate, House, state, Wilton — treat us as if we were a group of indigents whom they must pacify but never satisfy. A plan to improve rapidly deteriorating infrastructure by 2030 is an insult to the intelligence of the voter. By 2030 everyone I commute with will be retired, possibly dead.
There are daily, quantum operational improvements that can be effected to improve commuting times today. Why, we implore you all, our representatives, are you not trying to help us in that regard? Why can’t you all sit down with Metro-North and make it better? Elected officials, from the federal to the local, don’t have enough sway to do that? Do you not understand the value of this vital infrastructure? Its impact on the property values and the economy of every town up the Danbury branch? Forget the legalisms of the 60-year contract with Metro-North. That’s just something to hide behind.
At long last, weigh in and do something positive. Take action that assists us today. Otherwise, why would we vote for you tomorrow?
Nicholas R. Battista
Hickory Hill Road, April 19