In case you missed it, the Post published an opinion piece this past weekend from Walkable West Palm Beach. The letter is copied below.
Recent comments from Palm Beach County Commissioner Hal Valeche suggesting that Tri-Rail’s Coastal Link be scrapped are very disconcerting. The Coastal Link is the best response we have to our regional transportation challenges. It would be transformative, linking all the major downtowns in our region and propelling South Florida forward.
The amount of transit-oriented development already taking place around the All Aboard Florida project stations is immense. Imagine if a true commuter rail line were operating — and how much the county tax base would rise — once almost every major city in Palm Beach County and the region are connected via commuter rail.
These towns and cities originally developed around rail lines. For decades, we’ve relied upon huge governmental transfer payments to fund new road construction, at the expense of our existing neighborhoods and cities. In these cities, the infrastructure is already in place, the walkable street grid largely exists, and the return on public investment is high.
Recent trends indicate the demand for more walkable places. This project would position South Florida well into the future.
I strongly urge all county commissioners to publicly support the Coastal Link project and to do whatever it takes to secure funding. We need to fund this project now, while we can leverage the private investment All Aboard Florida has already made.
JESSE BAILEY, WEST PALM BEACH
Editor’s note: Jesse Bailey founded the Walkable West Palm Beach blog, walkablewpb.com.