PRIVATE RAIL PLAN HAS PUBLIC CONCERNS

Publish Date: 
Monday, August 11, 2014 - 7:15am

PRIVATE RAIL PLAN HAS PUBLIC CONCERNS
Letter to Editor at Palm Beach Post BY JOSEPH AUFENANGER, TEQUESTA

In the July 19 editorial regarding All Aboard Florida federal loan objections, you ask: “Since when, exactly, is public investment that benefits private enterprise necessarily a problem?” (“All Aboard loan objections just cover for area’s NIMBY concerns.”) The answer is quite simple.

1. When the project serves and benefits only a few selected communities.
2. When the project threatens to negatively impact property values.
3. When the project holds entire communities hostage at railway crossings.

The logic of comparing All Aboard to the four projects listed, (Scripps, Roger Dean Stadium, the convention center hotel and the Port of Palm Beach dredging), neglects the fact that none of these projects possessed the inherent negative effects on their local communities that All Aboard does. Indeed, the four projects mentioned comprise a mere 30 percent of the $1.5 billion requested by All Aboard.

The objection of Sen. Joe Negron is not limited to the lies put forth by All Aboard that this is a privately funded project. Negron has listened to the concerns of his constituents who are also concerned about the flawed logic of using an antiquated rail infrastructure for a high-speed rail system. As you must know, the rail line plans on traversing an aging bridge over the Loxahatchee River that operates on a 20-minute opening and closing cycle. Add the normal freight trains to the 32 planned All Aboard passenger trains and you have a virtual closure of that waterway. Better to report all the issues of All Aboard, rather than using one issue as an excuse to attack a senator who listens to his constituents.

JOSEPH AUFENANGER, TEQUESTA