The Palm Beach Post Opinion Zone: POINT OF VIEW: Citizens must unite to say ‘no’ to All Aboard

Posted on April 8, 2015

Rick Scott apparently is looking to add to his “legacy” by getting All Aboard Florida approved for tax-exempt bonds, oblivious to the disruption that more trains will cause for residents up and down the east coast of Florida. What would be welcome in a “banana republic” as an economic improvement will only detract significantly from the lifestyle that has developed along the tracks.

But “It ain’t over til it’s over.” In New York City, during the 1960s, the government was looking to crisscross Manhattan with superhighways — and would have done so if it hadn’t been for a group in Greenwich Village, led by an otherwise unassuming lady, whose members just said “no.”

They said this to an otherwise implacable Robert Moses, who had already plowed a trench through the South Bronx to create the Cross Bronx Expressway, severing the neighborhoods there. Greenwich Village residents would have none of that, and they mounted a successful campaign to stop the destruction of their community.

It’s time for South Florida coastal residents to adopt the same mantra, saying “no” to the AAF scheme. This scheme, if it’s to exist at all, should be developed in the middle of the state, where its impact would be minimal. In addition, it should allow for real high-speed-rail tracks.

Otherwise, let the freight be taken up the coast by ship. And put a few extra trains on Tri-Rail. There isn’t going to be much to attract tourists to travel to and from Orlando — or to entice them to visit our beach communities, if those communities suffer incessant train traffic.




Editor’s note: The Florida Development Finance Corp. will, at 9 a.m. on April 20, hold a public hearing on the FDFC’s issuing of Transportation Facilities Revenue Bonds. The proceeds, up to $1.75 billion, would be lent to AAF Holdings LLC and related entities. The meeting will take place at Residence Inn, 600 W. Gaines St., Tallahassee.

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