Promoting passenger trains as a transportation alternative in Florida since 1983.  We are citizens who advocate for Amtrak, commuter rail, intercity rail and transit for Florida's future.

All Aboard Florida: Here Come the NIMBYs, With New Arguments This Time

23 Mar 2014 10:39 AM | Jackson McQuigg (Administrator)
All new public works projects, including passenger rail projects, are today typically faced with some level of citizen opposition, especially as they relate to use of public funds. Though frustrating, this is de rigueur these days.

With the proposed All Aboard Florida privately led and financed, one would however think that citizen opposition for the project from NIMBYs must be minimal, right?

Not so fast. 

Some citizens are now trying to dictate to the privately-owned Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) what it can and cannot do with its rail infrastructure. Here, the "anti" arguments are generally not about taxpayer funds--instead they are in opposition for other reasons. 

More in this article from CBS 12 News (West Palm Beach):

Indeed, a website for a grass roots organization opposed to the proposed Miami-Orlando All Aboard Florida service naively asks why the CSX and Florida Department of Transportation-owned rail line running from Orlando to Miami can't be used instead of the FEC line, as if CSX and FEC shared the same corporate ownership.

Meanwhile, Jorge Pesquera, the head of the tourism and convention bureau Discover Palm Beach County points out in this editorial in The Palm Beach Post that there are many reasons why this region of the state should support All Aboard Florida (we agree!).

Passenger rail advocates often speak of the very real benefits of passenger trains. However, those arguments generally haven't changed much since the 1970s. 

As rail projects find increasing acceptance and success, new reasons for opposition to rail will surface--many based on a lack of understanding of the technology and its impact. Therefore, the need to educate the public about railroads and trains--and to refine our own advocacy--will become paramount.

It's our challenge for the future.

--Jackson McQuigg

Comments

  • 03 Apr 2014 12:35 AM | Anonymous member
    We don't need rail projects to pay for all of those stupid ugly sound barriers, either. If the NIMBY's want the barriers, it's high time their property taxes be assessed to pay for them! After all, if the rail was there first, why did they not bother to think about it before they bought the property?
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