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Proposed MetroLink route concerns reader

Letter to the editor

To the editor:

In canvassing neighbors recently, we learned that few people imagine it possible that within the next decade MetroLink will claim a 35-foot right of way through their neighborhood, taking trees, lawns and even houses in its wake.

Alignment No. 1, which would run along Laclede Station Road, even has an option of building tracks along Grant's Trail. The alternative would be over Rock Hill — Highway 21 — all the way to St. Anthony's Medical Center.

Many believe that MetroLink will travel over existing railroad tracks. Not true.

Please do all you can to make them fully aware of the plans so they can be part of the decision-making process during the critical coming months.

On the average, MetroLink railcars pass every 15 minutes, night and day. During peak hours it can be every seven minutes.

Railcars have priority over traffic signals, changing them in their favor as they fly through the area at speeds up to 55 mph.

MetroSouth proponents say this will "improve property values."

Perhaps, if one wants to sell to a developer and move somewhere else, but what if you love your home, your yard and your community and want it to stay safe, quiet and stable as it is now?

Do we have problems selling real estate in this area now? Do we not like this quaint little corner of the county and live here because we want to, not because we miss living in the city with the highest crime rate in the nation or want to recreate it here in this shady haven.

Do we want two years of construction that will disrupt our lives and destroy the characteristics that make our homes and yards attractive, and welcoming?

Won't it be fun to walk? Am I missing something here?

Grasso Plaza, at Rock Hill — Tesson Ferry/Highway 21 — and Gravois — Highway 30 — being redeveloped at a cost of $18 million even though new construction may be in conflict with construction of Alignment No. 1.

Major development, aided by our taxes, is proposed directly across the intersection and would destroy the Harster Building, a landmark in our community, as well as require that we build a new police station.

Who are the people benefitting from these tax-increment funding programs? Do we need another shopping center? Does it matter that the south county extension of the unwanted rail system will cost around $600 million?

By 2006 the Shrewsbury station, now under construction at River Des Peres, will be operating and will include parking for 100 cars.

Why not take the tracks on down River Des Peres to Lemay where residents and civic officials welcome it and Interstate 55 commuters could utilize it?

Why not take it north where workers are begging for it?

Grant's Farm now offers free admission and charges only for parking. How will that change with a MetroLink Station just yards from the entrance?

The people who live in this community have fought diligently to preserve its old trees and protect its wildlife and the atmosphere that makes the area a great place to live.

Grant's Trail daily provides a refreshing outdoor experience for hundreds. To even imagine the noisy, unsightly railcars rolling along that scenic path is just ludicrous.

There is information at all county libraries and on the MetroLink Web site.

Have your say at or write to your county councilman or this newspaper.

With or without ready funding, a route decision will be made in 2004 and, sooner or later, the money will come.

Residents must get involved. It's not too late, but, if we hesitate, it will be.

Charlotte Mason

Grantwood Village

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