Letter: The political class’s Danbury line dance

To the Editors:

The political class held a news conference on the Danbury Line.  Incredible and we’re incredulous. Let’s pick it apart.

The political class boards the 9:05 out of Danbury. Can you imagine? The only people who take that late train are a “young man who was going to visit his mother … to help her move her boxes” and commuters seeking psychiatric help for Metro-North-induced depression. When asked why so late, Senator Murphy: “I’d be happy to do it another time; there’s no reason why we couldn’t.” BLATHER! Couldn’t face the regulars who weren’t traveling to help their mommies move boxes.

The Danbury Line Maligned — us commuters — would be less delicate with the political class. At South Norwalk, a news conference. News 12 and the Connecticut television stations did not cover it. They could have traveled to Grand Central and held a news conference in sight of the inept executives at Metro-North. Too inconvenient. Takes too much time.

The worst of this travesty is they refuse to acknowledge the real problem.  They keep talking about future spending on the Danbury Line:

  • Senator Murphy: “The story of this line is increased ridership.”  Huh?  “If you build it they will come.” We’re here!

  • First Selectman Vanderslice: “It’s critical for Wilton and for our future, not only to attract new residents, but also new businesses … Wilton is open for business.” Open for business! I haven’t observed a plethora of commuters to Wilton on the Danbury Line each morning. Maybe I’m too unobservant.

  • State Senator Boucher: “[The Danbury Branch line] is an economic imperative. It is a gem, and it could be doing so much better, given the ridership that we have.”  A gem!  Like a TV ad for Cubic Zirconia earrings running at 3:00 a.m. on an obscure television station!

  • State Rep. Lavielle: “It is extremely important for everyone who lives in this corridor, from the point of view of easy commuting, safe, reliable commuting, transportation in general, and for economic development, as well as property values — the developments that everyone expects … electrification and eventually extension, are considered and hopefully implemented.” Hope! Yes, hope! Live in hope and die in despair.

The political class gathered with no one around to observe. They wore their collective smile. They congratulated themselves. They missed the point.  Alas, covered by The Wilton Bulletin but only the online edition. Ignored by the Connecticut media. They couldn’t face the Danbury Line Maligned on an early-morning train.

We need operational improvements:

  1. Repair the switches.

  2. Go fast, not slow.  Reduce the four-hour commute to three hours.

  3. Cut the travel time from Wilton to SoNo to much less than 25 minutes.

  4. Why do four tracks that open up to 40 tracks at GCT display a scientific phenomenon we call reverse queuing theory! We go slower, rather than faster. It’s supposed to be the other way ’round!

Nicholas R. Battista
Hickory Hill Road