Steve Cotton: He sees Kent freight issues up close and personal

Freight_side_mug-motorcycle

By Brian Beckley
Reporter Newspapers
Steve Cotton, operations manager for KGM Motorcycle Transport in Kent, has the same complaints as most drivers in the Kent Valley: traffic and trains.
But for Cotton and his business, which does the storage, transportation and final assembly for all of the motorcycle dealers in Washington, time is money.
“It seems like every time you turn around there’s a train going through here,” Cotton said, estimating that each train – 60 per day, according to the city – costs his drivers on average of 15 minutes.
And with five trucking companies located on his road in Kent’s warehouse district, the six or seven trucks that KGM sends in and out each day also can get caught in the same traffic that commuters complain about.
But despite some of the challenges, Cotton said Kent’s centralized location – including being located near major distribution hubs for the four major Japanese bike manufacturers – make it ideal for the business.
“That’s huge for us,” he said.
Cotton acknowledged the city working to fix the at-grade railroad crossings as money becomes available, but offered another idea for speeding up traffic on Interstate 5 and state Route 167.
“Instead of a carpool lane, I’d like to see a truck lane,” he said.
Brian Beckley is a writer at the Kent Reporter. He can be reached at bbeckley@kentreporter.com.