In the month of April alone, the Treasure Coast has experienced three stalled trains that have trapped residents in downtown Stuart and Fort Pierce. Florida East Coast Railways has apologized to residents, claiming maintenance and public safety issues as the causes for the delays. Still, the delays illustrate why so many Treasure Coast residents are concerned about All Aboard Florida, the high-speed passenger rail service that would almost triple train traffic when it begins running daily Miami-to-Orlando trains in 2017.
All Aboard Florida should not use the FEC Railway tracks that cross and cut off downtown Vero Beach, Fort Pierce, and Stuart. All Aboard Florida should build new tracks out west away from residents and businesses and without the use of U.S. Government-backed loans or funds.
If All Aboard Florida does utilize the coastal rail tracks as planned, there will be an additional 32 passenger trains per day through our coastal towns and over our old bridges, including three major marine bridges: The New River, Loxahatchee, and St. Lucie River. The projected number of trains is up to 50 freight and passenger trains per day, with freight projected to increase with longer and more frequent trains.
All Aboard Florida would create unavoidable traffic delays through the Treasure Coast. According to experts at the Federal Railroad Administration, traffic delays at Seaway Drive and the railroad tracks in Fort Pierce—for motorists heading east to the barrier island—will nearly triple if All Aboard Florida begins running passenger trains.
Peak-hour traffic, which now grinds to a standstill four minutes of every hour, will hit gridlock for 12 minutes if All Aboard Florida begins cutting through Fort Pierce, according to the federal Environmental Impact Statement for All Aboard Florida. Traffic coming westbound to the mainland, which now is delayed three minutes each peak hour by freight trains, will see eight minutes of delays per All Aboard Florida passenger train.
The All Aboard Florida Environmental Impact Statement predicts the following traffic delays:
Indian River County
- Oslo Road at U.S. 1
- Oslo Road at Old Dixie Highway
- East and westbound State Road 60, known as the Twin Pairs
St. Lucie County
- Seaway Drive at U.S. 1
- North Causeway Bridge at Old Dixie Highway
The simple solution: Move the trains west, away from the FEC Railway tracks that cut through residential neighborhoods and downtowns. Almost 50,000 residents have signed petitions opposing All Aboard Florida, and I invite you to join the cause. Visit www.floridanotallaboard.net to learn about the latest news, candidate positions, and to sign the opposing petition.
If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of the negligence of someone else, please call my office for free information and a free consultation. Call 866-460-1990 today.