Real problem is railroad grade crossings
It was with great fanfare and enthusiasm that Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Barak Obama and Rep. Daniel Lipinski bragged about the TEA/3 Transportation Bill passed by Congress and how much it would improve traffic in our area.

That is fine, but the really large and overlooked problem in the southwest suburbs is all the railroad crossings that hold up thousands of drivers every day of the week.

Several years ago there was a meeting at Lyons Township High School with the railroad people about those problems, and the railroad people wanted the municipalities to pay to make improvements at the crossings. No way.

Let me remind you when the trains started running years back they would have maybe 20 cars. Now they have 100-plus trains. At times, after one of these 100-plus trains go by, you have to wait for another coming the other way. They are running those cars with less people, and it is the railroads that are making the money.

There are many suburbs that have “quiet zones,” but that is ignored many times, especially late at night and early in the morning.

It is way past time for our legislators to put pressure on the railroads to build overpasses at these crossings. How many lives would be saved?

Here in Brookfield, the police station is north of the tracks, and with only two crossings four blocks apart from the station, if they get a call south of the tracks and a long train makes them wait 10 or 15 minutes, that is unacceptable.

The fire department has two stations?”one north of the tracks and one south, but if they should need the services of both stations at a large fire, and there is a holdup at the crossing, what then?

Ted Schwartz

BrookfieldRight call on rules for garages
The community of Riverside has been vigorously working to update the zoning code over the last several years. Inch by inch, it seems that President Harold “Jack” Wiaduck along with his team of trustees, Plan Commission members and consultants are coming closer to their goal.

While compromise in many aspects of creating the new comprehensive code ordinance has been a hardened chore, we applaud President Wiaduck and the trustees who recently voted to approve a measure that would require homeowners to use the same or similar materials in the construction of detached garages. A unified look to a home can only increase its appeal and property value. This will add years to the longevity of an individual or family’s residence when it comes to prospective home buyers.

We are glad to see that President Wiaduck took an active role with his vote; breaking a tie on the decision at hand. His choice was for the better of a long term goal, that goal being the finalization of the Riverside zoning code.

Mario Lavorato


Homeland security grant not worth it
I wholeheartedly agree with Riverside Trustee Kevin Smith on his reservations about the placements of surveillance cameras around our town (“Federal surveillance grant needs debate,” Letters, Aug. 3).

I realize that “free” money from our federal government for such reactionary projects are easy to take. But, do we really need it for the reasons it is provided, to counter homeland terrorism? Do we put a camera on the water tower, since it is the symbol of our town and are spending a ton of money restoring it? And there is, of course, Riverside-Brookfield High School. I’m sure an installation of police cameras there will set well with the students who are learning about Orwellian techniques.

I’m told that RB High is going to be rewarded with the highest accolade for academic achievement in the state of Illinois. How does that jive with your notion to install surveillance cameras inside its doors?

I’m sorry. This homeland security grant must be turned down. Perhaps we can recoup the funds to save our dying trees or provide funds for new business in Riverside.

David Moreau