OPINION | EFFORT TO HELP REGULATE HIGH-SPEED RAIL IS GOOD PUBLIC POLICY

Publish Date: 
Monday, March 27, 2017 - 1:15pm

Original article written by Brent Hanlon of the SunSentinel

In current media outbursts Mayfield and her bill have been marked as political acts against All Aboard Florida. This isn't the case.

In the past, AAF consistently failed to answer public safety challenges that already exist in the FEC rail system and other burdens these additional, faster trains would bring to the Floridan communities.

"AFF treats NIMBY like it's a four-letter word as it disregards the challenges already facing our communities," Brent Hanlon, chairman of Citizens Against Rail Expansion in Florida explains. "In the Treasure Coast, the proposed AAF project would send an additional 32 passenger trains a day barreling through our pedestrian communities at speeds up to 110 mph, and the current 14 freight trains per day would increase to 20 to 28 per day... This increase in trains would lead to more traffic congestion as we continually have to wait for trains to pass... It will also put the many residents who must cross the tracks...

"The truth is, Sen. Mayfield's bill does nothing to 'kill' AAF, unless AAF has not been truthful with the public. However, it does ensure that whenever and wherever high speed rail exists in our state, the appropriate safety technology and equipment will be in place to protect the public and that private rail companies will be responsible for paying for it."

Mayfield has been criticized for mentioning AAF when proposing her bill, yet AAF is the only high speed rail project currently underway in Florida.

AAF has not stated anything to help alleviate the safety concerns of Floridians with their proposed project; Mayfield's bill was proposed to ensure that there will absolutely be safety standards BEFORE AAF has created their high-speed rails with unmentioned safety standards.