Hey, Jack, What’s That Sound?

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There was an odd little comment made by Polk County Commissioner Jack Myers last week. it was ably reported by the Ledger’s Tom Palmer:

Just seconds before the Transportation Planning Organization adjourned today, County Commissioner Jack Myers blurted out something about living not far from the CSX tracks in Auburndale and not being bothered by the sound of the passing trains.

That caught County Commissioner Jean Reed,who lives not far from the proposed CSX freight terminal in Winter Haven, by surprise. She could be heard saying she wanted to respond, but by then the microphones had been turned off. — CSX fun and games

You might wonder how far Myers lives from those tracks? What about Reed? Polk County election records, property appraiser’s records, and 10 minutes with Google maps and I can give you an approximate answer:

Jack Myers’ home has nice thick walls.

(I’m guessing. I’ve seen it only on a satellite photo.)

Myers lives near the interchange where the CSX S-Line and the A-Line converge. He is approximately 3400 feet from that intersection, but closer to the A-line at 2160 feet. Now, if the commuter rail plan goes through, A-Line traffic will reduce, if not dry up, near Myer’s home.

Commissioner Reed? She is approximately 2142 feet from the CSX tracks. Reed is also about 8.5 miles closer than Myers to the proposed Winter Haven Rail Center.

What can we conclude from all this?

How did a discussion about trains blocking traffic become one about noise?

Click that link and you’ll find an article I wrote 14 months ago. That makes one still wonder: why do rail proponents keep mentioning “noise” when opponents bring up “traffic?”

It’s an old tactic best known as a Red Herring. You might call it a smoke screen. By either name it is a fallacy of logic. It’s an effort to direct attention away from the true argument:

The Winter Haven Rail Hub will negatively impact auto traffic on State Road 60 and miles away in Lakeland, Ocala, and other Florida communities. Moving freight traffic from the A-Line to the S-Line will negatively impact auto traffic in many communities.

I’d call that a “regional” impact? Wouldn’t you?

Creative Commons License photo credit: shadeofmelon

4 thoughts on “Hey, Jack, What’s That Sound?

  1. Yes, I sure would. And regarding your red herring remark, I agree with that whole-heartedly, too. What’s really frustrating is how often it’s used by politicians and how readily we, the voters fall into it. I include myself in that. We need to be vigilant, especially with this CSX deal, and make our elected officials stay on topic. When they don’t, we need to call them on it. They shouldn’t get away with crap like this.

  2. Yes, I sure would. And regarding your red herring remark, I agree with that whole-heartedly, too. What’s really frustrating is how often it’s used by politicians and how readily we, the voters fall into it. I include myself in that. We need to be vigilant, especially with this CSX deal, and make our elected officials stay on topic. When they don’t, we need to call them on it. They shouldn’t get away with crap like this.

  3. Hey Jack,
    If you like the sound of trains near your house so much you’ll love it when we get 50 passenger trains a day stopping at downtown Auburndale everyday, not because FDOT, CSX, John Mica and JD Alexander are so benevolent or visionary but because Senator Dockery, Representative Ross, Congressman Putnam and Congresswoman Castor know how effective Amtrak has been in other states and want the same thing for Auburndale, Polk County and all the citizens of the whole State, not just Orlando.

  4. Hey Jack,
    If you like the sound of trains near your house so much you’ll love it when we get 50 passenger trains a day stopping at downtown Auburndale everyday, not because FDOT, CSX, John Mica and JD Alexander are so benevolent or visionary but because Senator Dockery, Representative Ross, Congressman Putnam and Congresswoman Castor know how effective Amtrak has been in other states and want the same thing for Auburndale, Polk County and all the citizens of the whole State, not just Orlando.

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