SEATTLE — Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is making a big push to stop coal trains from running through waterfront property in Seattle.
McGinn will be on hand Thursday night at a public hearing to vote on a big new coal terminal in Bellingham. The terminal would mean up to 18 new trains a day, each more than a mile long. He argues the trains would further congest traffic around the Port of Seattle and the waterfront.
“I think you are seeing the types of concerns that we’re raising here are being raised in communities up and down Oregon and Washington and Vancouver B.C.,” McGinn said.
On Wednesday, McGinn announced plans for a new $25,000 study to determine the economic hit the city could hit, including downtown businesses, if the coal trains were allowed to run. On hand to support the Mayor was the family that owns the new Ferris wheel on Pier 57. Kyle Griffith, the owner of the wheel, said noisy, dirty trains running through downtown could put a damper on the new $20 million waterfront attraction.
“We’re very concerned about any new train routes that would cut off access for our customers and our visitors and our friends and neighbors to come down here,” Griffith said.
Instead, he prefers a plan to allow 24-story residential towers on the edge of South Lake Union.