The opposition to this project was financed by Bob Crandall, retired CEO of American Airlines. He paid certain people to provide misinformation about this project and spread the misinformation to the people that know no better. All in the interest of protecting his AA investments. This project is wanted by a majority of Floridians that live in the major cities. Even Indian River County hired an independent consultant which agreed that there would be no significant impact to the county. The so called environmentalists already fouled the waterways with their excessive building of houses and septic tanks.
Anyone who favors "all asphalt" transportation vs. rail passenger will not be persuaded by polls or by reason.
They are OK with millions of cars traveling up I-95 and the Turnpike between South Florida and Central Florida. The pollution, energy waste and traffic deaths are acceptable to them because that is the way it is now.
To move that traffic onto rail, which is safer, quieter, more energy efficient and more civilized, well that involves a CHANGE, and if there is anything that will bring out the citizens of our county, it is CHANGE.
The irony is, Martin County residents will claim to be environmentalists, while spending millions to force people to continue using the most damaging mode of tranport - rubber tires on asphalt.
What a tangled web we weave, when first we purpose to deceive.
Maureen writes: "I for one will not be crossing the tracks to use restaurants in town or to see shows at the Lyric if I have to wait for 32 trains a day to pass ."
I've got good news for Maureen. She needn't move. There is no plan to run the 32 trains bumper-to-bumper, so no need "to wait for 32 trains a day to pass."
If Maureen's route had a new traffic signal installed to improve safety, would she stop taking that route "to use restaurants in town or to see shows at the Lyric"?
A traffic signal holds up traffic for longer than a Brightline train passing through would.
Maureen's concerns are unfounded. No fear her "sleep little town of Stuart" will even notice the change.
Donna is concerned about the poll going to railfans on facebook.
Railfans are concerned about the poll going to anti-Brightline groups.
If we put a residency test on a poll, then you miss those who would use the train to visit local areas (assuming opponents don't block a future local station).
There is no legitimacy to opposition based on safety concerns, loss of quality of life, and "all about freight" allegations.
Crossing improvements and Positive Train Control (PTC) will dramatically improve safety, making virtually impossible the leading cause of grade crossing accidents.
Quieter trains and quiet zones will improve quality of life. The brief passage of very short, faster passenger trains will hardly be noticed with quiet zones. If County Commissioners oppose quiet zones, then THEY will be responsible for the noise, not the trains. The strong possibility of a limited number of trains stopping at a future train station would dramatically improve travel opportunities for local residents.
The claim that AAF/Brightline is "all about freight" is unsustainable.
1. FEC is now owned by Grupo Mexico... it is no longer affiliated with Fortress, owner of AAF/Brightline.
2. It would have been far less expensive (without any opposition) for the FEC to have simply double-tracked its mainline if that were needed to support operations. It wasn't needed, and there is no comparable improvements to the line north of Cocoa. What sense does it make for freight to be improved to Cocoa, but not north of Cocoa, when the destination of northbound trains is Jacksonville?
3. Freight is prohibited from using the new Cocoa-Orlando Terminal connection.
4. Costly new passenger stations in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach, and the new Orlando airport terminal have zero benefit to FEC operations.
5. FEC's primary freight operation is to supply the urban complex of southeast Florida. Before the widened canal, much of the goods originating in the western Pacific and shipped on the large "Chinamax" freighters had to dock at Pacific ports where containerized freight was transferred to rail for transport to destinations throughout the country. Now that the widened canal is in use, some of that freight can be shipped directly to southeast Florida without the need for rail transportation. That will tend to reduce FEC trainloads. Other ports in the Gulf and along the East Coast capable of receiving Chinamax freighters will be used for shipments to other regions of the US, that freight will NOT be shipped to southeast Florida and then rail shipped by rail to other parts of the country (increasing shipping costs), as claimed by opponents. The widened canal has been open for about a year and there are no more trains now than before the improved port and widened canal opened.
There is no legitimate argument against Brightline (and hasn't been since the beginning) to justify the frenzied opposition and the expenditure of $6 million of tax dollars on a fool's errand.
The word "malfeasance" comes to mind with respect to the gross waste of taxpayers funds by public officials riding a wave ignorance and false claims to curry favor with voters. It's disgraceful.
This "poll" is again be passed around the rail fan facebook pages making it totally worthless. To be valid, it should only be made available to those who are paying taxes in these municipalities.
I am a proponent for passenger trains along Florida's southeast coast. I do believe that the big concern should be the speed of these trains traveling thru downtown Stuart. At the least, total gated crossing should be employed, and a reasonable passenger train speed limit should be imposed.
I'm disappointed that we could not see this train move further west on other tracks. But, since it appears that this stupid thing is going to move forward anyway, we should be looking at adding a stop in Stuart, and insisting that Brightline pay for all maintenance of the crossings. The fact that the Brightline officials tried to convince us that this would be a financial asset to everyone along it's route is pure poo poo. This was typical corporate propaganda. How in the world would this be a financial gain to us if the train passes right on through and we get to pay for the maintenance of crossings? Call me cynical, but I just don't see this being successful. We will be bailing them out in the future.
I for one will not be crossing the tracks to use restaurants in town or to see shows at the Lyric if I have to wait for 32 trains a day to pass . It will be worse if we have a stop in Stuart. Traffic is bad enough as it is so I'll be taking my business north. Goodbye sleep little town of Stuart. It was beautiful while it lasted.
It's really scary to think that the officials who spent all this tax money was so out of touch with what people wanted, assuming this poll is valid...and I think it is.
The money spent was a waste. IMO the persons who tried to stop Brightline did not speak to the correct Barristers. RR law is very complicated and most persons have no idea of what precedents and rulings are in place. Just hope Brightline does not counter sue for costs and damages !