Walkable West Palm Beach

AAF’s Ft. Lauderdale Station Design Revealed: WPB Needs to Demand More

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Reblogging this critique of the All Aboard Florida Fort Lauderdale station concept. This is what we can most likely expect of the West Palm Beach station, since the Fort Lauderdale and Miami designs look very similar to one another. The budget for the West Palm Beach station is in the range of the Ft. Lauderdale station.

I sure hope Zyscovich, the same firm behind the WPB Downtown Master Plan rewrite, is approaching this with the level of civic design it demands. Tim Hullihan wrote about some of the important elements that should be included in a WPB station earlier.

http://timhullihan.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/new-urbanism-101/

Does the Fort Lauderdale station fit the bill? No. And I worry the West Palm Beach station will be a copy of it.

Timothy Hullihan, architect and freelance writer

Well, the wait is over.  Fort Lauderdale’s high-speed transit terminal design was revealed today.  If it is any indication of what West Palm Beach can expect, I’ll need to be put into a trance before someone can explain to me, in a comprehensible way, how this glitzy rendering of 2 intersecting glass and metal tubes is “transformational,” or stands up to its obligation of “civic importance.”

Ft_Laud_Station

A high speed rail service between Miami and Orlando is a transformational enterprise.  It will transform South Florida in mostly positive ways.  The Transit Oriented Development that is supposed to follow will transform the areas around the terminals over time.  But, weak, unimaginative architecture should not be allowed to piggy back on the project’s nature and call itself transformational.  It should truly be transformational on its own merit.  To do that, it needs to inspire, trigger memories, and create an environment one looks forward…

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One thought on “AAF’s Ft. Lauderdale Station Design Revealed: WPB Needs to Demand More

  1. Thanks for reblogging this. Although Mr. Hullihan’s interests are primarily about the possible design of the WPB station, I found it a useful overview of the situation those of us who live along the 200 rail corridor between Miami and Orlando will likely be facing — and it is worrisome. In general, as an individual and environmental blogger, I favor public transportation over autos/highways. However, after a recent experience traveling on the AutoTrain, I don’t have a lot of confidence about the ability of the current infrastructure to handle extra traffic. In my community of Palm Beach Gardens, many of my neighbors are concerned about the noise and congestion of 32 extra trains daily should the All Aboard Florida project be completed. Yes, that could be a serious quality of life issue. But far more troubling is the fact that this extra traffic taxes a system that is already transporting freight including LPG through congested neighborhoods like mine on a daily basis. I wrote to a commissioner and did not get much reassurance that the city had any influence on the rail system, or is well-prepared to handle a possible derailment. What is your take on this? Is this project a done deal or is there still room for communities to have a say on what will affect us all?

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