Yesterday, our Freedom School scholars, parents and community members braved the heat and humidity to deliver a very loud and clear message: When the rail yard comes to Chicora-Cherokee, we have to make sure something is done to reduce the negative effects.
The march/rally was a way to educate the community about some of the potentially dire outcomes of this new rail yard: decreased property values, constant noise and rattling, air/water/light pollution and even traffic problems. Scholars took particular interest in the fate of Sterret Hall. It is one our neighborhood’s only recreational facilities and it is scheduled to be demolished as part of the rail yard construction plan.
We are not against commerce. There will be opportunities for economic development in the neighborhood- jobs for residents and infrastructure investment. But there will be notable negative consequences for Chicora-Cherokee residents living right next to the facility. As so many people outside of our neighborhood will benefit from this increased economic infrastructure, we need to make sure residents bearing the brunt of this increased industry will not only be spared from suffering, but will benefit as well.