NIMBY In Noroton Heights

In the past we've shown you why Darien's Noroton Heights Railroad Station was considered one of the worst in the state. Pictures featured on the Rail Commuter Council's website showed rust on the station walls, a creeping mold on the bridge over the tracks, graffiti and a waiting room that was open only between 5:30 and 10 a.m.

It was reported that repairs would cost about a half-million dollars. But here's the shocker, said the Commuter Council. The money was supposed to come from train station parking fees, but Darien had been placing that revenue in its general fund instead. So the crummy conditions at the station continued.

Fortunately, Darien's new First Selectman Evonne Klein promises to fix all that now--the repairs and the proper use of parking fees. To her credit, and with little fuss, she's already extended the waiting room hours, no doubt helping to prevent passenger frostbite, or worse.

Still, we were sorry the Department of Transportation's suggestion for improving the station was rejected. Its chief Harry Harris recently offered this deal: Turn the station over to the state, and we'll pay for maintenance and operations, including the repairs. Plus, we'll build 400 new parking spaces as part of a larger plan to make train travel more attractive and reduce road congestion.

But the state's nemesis, the NIMBY animal, once again rose up to roar. Not in my backyard, said very vocal Darien residents. More parking will bring more traffic to the town, and we don't need the crowds.

Not a surprise, we suppose, but wouldn't it be nice for once to hear, "My backyard? Sure, if it will help the greater good."