West Palm meeting big taste of what's in store for All Aboard Florida in Stuart

Publish Date: 
Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 12:15pm

By Nicole Rodriguez TCPalm

WEST PALM BEACH — All Aboard Florida executives got a big taste Wednesday night of the fierce opposition they likely will face Thursday in Stuart.

The West Palm Beach meeting stood in stark contrast to the first two sessions in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, where residents are on board for the project because of jobs and economic development it will bring. West Palm Beach was the third of eight open houses the Federal Railroad Administration will hold in the state to gather public input on the Miami-to-Orlando high-speed passenger train service.

A steady a line of some 250 people came and went during the 3½-hour session. Approximately 200 attended the Miami meeting and 250 went to Fort Lauderdale, according to the FRA. Even more are expected in Stuart.

Palm Beach County residents called the meeting’s format a “public relations stunt,” “marketing propaganda,” and a “show-and-tell for All Aboard Florida.”

“This is to lull everyone into a sense of complacency,” said Palm Beach Gardens resident Helen Coleman, who attended the meeting with several neighbors who also oppose the project. “ ... We needed a town hall meeting.”