Downtown Worcester from Franklin St. (public domain)
Tonight will be the last Worcester City Council meeting before the summer recess.
The main item on the agenda for tonight will be the Council vote on the CSX freight yard (between Shrewsbury St. and Franklin St.) expansion plan to make Worcester its new rail freight hub for all of New England.
The expansion plan was recently endorsed by the joint council committee that reviewed it, after a rocky start which had proponents worried that Worcester would chase off yet another economic opportunity because of their notorious NIMBY attitude.
The Council is expected to approve the plan this evening (vote tallies yet unknown), but not before lots more whining from the Grafton Hill Business Association – whose members would actually stand to benefit from the expansion.
CSX has even agreed to redesign the entrance to the freight yard on Grafton St. so the road comes out next to the Eastbound entrance to I-290 and directly aligns with the Grafton St. off-ramp, meaning trucks don't have to travel on Grafton St. to access the freight yard.
That's not good enough for GHBA. Nothing will ever be good enough for GHBA. Just look at the months of whining and angst over a one-lane horsecart path.
The meeting begins about 7 PM (usually a few minutes after) tonight at City Hall. Get there early if you're attending, because all 8 members for the GHBA will be there, and you can probably expect a dozen “no access road to the airport” people there as well.
If you're not attending, the meeting will be available for podcast tomorrow on WCCA-13's website. There is also a live blog on the Daily Worcesteria Blog (blog within a blog), which begins at 7 PM. The meeting is also being broadcast live on Charter Cable Channel 12, the Governmen This may not end up being as active as the taxi drivers vs. livery drivers meetings, but the Worcester City Council meeting tonight should be interesting in the very least.