In case you missed it: Walkable West Palm Beach was interviewed for two stories this week that ran in local newspapers. Angel Streeter of The Sun Sentinel wrote a story on bike lanes and bridges, and Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post did a story on the new bike cars on Tri-Rail trains.
You’ve seen what’s possible when a group of citizens speak up and ask for healthier, more livable communities. Tomorrow is a HUGE day. The transformative project, Tri-Rail Coastal Link, is on the agenda of the Miami City Commission.
EMAIL the Miami Commissioners. Copy and paste these emails and send a message of support!! The items are #11 and 12 (Tri-Rail).firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, KHardemon@miamigov.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
RSVP (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/events/1136576643025221/
1) Commissioner Wifredo Gort, Chair
• (305) 250-5430
2) Commissioner Marc Sarnoff
• (305) 250-5333
3) Commissioner Francis Suarez
• (305) 250-5420
4) Commissioner Frank Carollo
• (305) 250-5380
5) CommissionerKeon Hardemon
• (305) 250-5390
6) Mayor Tomas P. Regalado
• (305) 250-5300
7) City Manager Daniel J. Alfonso
• (305) 416-1025
Why We Need Tri-Rail into Downtown Miami in 2016
[copied from Friends of Tri-Rail Coastal Link]
The new TriRail Connection at All Aboard Florida’s MiamiCentral would open just in time for drivers to avoid the looming five-year nightmare on I-95 south of Golden Glades.
Just when you thought getting into Downtown Miami couldn’t get any worse, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) announces the most significant I-95 project in Miami-Dade since the installation of toll express lanes. FDOT plans to replace pavement and make other upgrades between NW 8th and NW 79th streets starting in 2017. The project will take five years, snarling traffic into and out of Downtown Miami until the year 2022.
See: Miami Herald “Rough road ahead: Major I-95 redo project to take 5 years” – 3/16/2015 at http://goo.gl/HhPnDV
South Floridians deserve better – and one solution stands right in front of us: Bring Tri-Rail into Downtown Miami at All Aboard Florida’s new MiamiCentral Station in 2016.
The opportunity for Tri-Rail to provide 26 direct trains per weekday from all points north on the existing Tri-Rail system into Downtown Miami could alleviate this nightmare, and it’s critical to the future development of public transit in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. This is a smart investment in Miami’s transportation and economic future. It would not only realize Tri-Rail service to Downtown Miami, but also integrate All Aboard Florida, Metrorail, MetroMover, the Miami-Dade County bus system and Tri-Rail into an intermodal transit center with connections to all parts of Miami-Dade County, South Florida and even the Orlando/Central Florida area.
This project would mark the beginning of Tri-Rail Coastal Link, which would provide commuter rail from Jupiter all the way south to Miami, along the FEC railway tracks. It would be impossible to overstate the importance of Tri-Rail Coastal Link to our region’s future prosperity and mobility.
This may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to propel our public transit system into the 21st Century.
Let’s make this connection!
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
On Thursday, March 26th, the City of Miami City Commission is scheduled to vote on a proposal to negotiate a “financial assistance package” to connect and build a Tri-Rail terminus at All Aboard Florida’s new MiamiCentral Station scheduled to open in 2016.
According to the Miami Herald, Mayor Tomás Regalado says he will “veto any attempt to pay for the project with city money”. Regardless of how you feel on specific funding proposals, it’s important to let the Mayor and Commissioners know how vital this Tri-Rail Connection is.
Send the message that: I support the Tri-Rail Connection to Downtown Miami at the new All Aboard Florida MiamiCentral Station!
Mayor Tomas P. Regalado – firstname.lastname@example.org
Commissioner Wifredo (Willy) Gort (Chairman) – email@example.com
Commissioner Marc Sarnoff – firstname.lastname@example.org
Commissioner Frank Carollo – email@example.com
Commissioner Francis Suarez – firstname.lastname@example.org
Commissioner Keon Hardemon (Vice Chairman) – KHardemon@miamigov.com
City Manager Daniel J.Alfonso – email@example.com
For your copying and pasting ease:
An advocate in Miami made us aware of several crucial meetings that happen tomorrow in regard to Tri-Rail Coastal Link. Getting trains linked into downtown Miami would allow a one-seat ride from all points north (WPB, Boca, Delray Tri-Rail stations etc) right into downtown Miami, and this service could begin as early as 2016, in conjunction with All Aboard Florida. But it depends on the funding and your support.
ACTION: Contact the Miami-Dade Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust to support Tri-Rail into Downtown Miami in 2016 by cutting and pasting the message below and emailing to CSCURR@miamidade.gov. Do it now! The meeting is tomorrow, March 18th.
Subject: Support Tri-Rail Connection to Downtown Miami at MiamiCentral
Mr. Charles Scurr
Citizens’ Independent TransportationTrust
Miami-Dade County, Florida
Dear Mr. Scurr:
Please share during the meetings on March 18, 2015 of the Joint Strategic & Financial Planning and Project & Financial Review Committees (3pm) and the Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust (6pm) my most sincere support for your contribution to the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) for station and infrastructure improvements to accommodate future Tri-Rail Service at the MiamiCentral Station.
The opportunity for Tri-Rail to provide 26 direct trains per weekday from all points north on the existing Tri-Rail system to Downtown Miami is critical to the future development of public transit in Miami-Dade County. This is a smart investment in Miami’s transportation and economic future since it will not only realize Tri-Rail service to Downtown Miami, but also integrate All Aboard Florida, Metrorail, MetroMover, the Miami-Dade County bus system and Tri-Rail into an intermodal transit center with connections to all parts of Miami-Dade County, South Florida and even to Orlando and the Central Florida area.
This transit hub will further enhance development in Downtown Miami and further assure the viability of other projects like Museum Park, American Airlines Arena, Adrienne Arsht Center, World Center Miami and the World Center Convention Center by bringing millions of new visitors from the Tri-County area to patronize these projects.
This may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to propel our public transit system into the 21st Century. Please support contributing to the SFRTA effort to bring Tri-Rail Service to Downtown Miami at the MiamiCentral Station.
Let’s make this connection!
The effort to bring Tri-Rail into downtown Miami, which would be the first major step in initiating the Tri-Rail Coastal Link project (of which we are a huge supporter), is at a critical juncture. This letter is supportive of funding the Tri-Rail extension into downtown Miami. Please copy and paste, or edit as desired, and send to your elected representatives. Primarily it needs to be sent to FDOT Secretary Jim Boxold. firstname.lastname@example.org
I am writing this letter to express my strong support for the Tri-Rail extension onto the Florida East Coast Railway corridor and the utilization of All Aboard Florida’s (AAF) downtown Miami station, MiamiCentral. This new commuter rail service will generate significant benefits to our cities, counties, and the entire region.
As you may know, AAF has started construction on its intercity, express passenger rail system and MiamiCentral station. It is vital that we act now and approve a funding source so Tri-Rail can implement its service and construct the necessary infrastructure needed to integrate in MiamiCentral. Failing to do so will result in missing an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect these two transit systems in our downtown and create a multi-modal hub that links with our existing Metrorail, Metromover and bus systems.
AAF is contributing significant value by providing access to its corridor, contributing land for the station and providing, at its expense, construction management services for the additional Tri-Rail improvements. The Tri-Rail extension will allow Tri-Rail to expand its service in conjunction with the delivery of AAF passenger service to MiamiCentral. If Tri-Rail, in the future, had to build its own downtown station it would cost significantly more to construct, would probably not have a seamless connection to all the other transportation systems, and land would be bought at a premium.
The Tri-Rail extension project leverages private investment in the Florida East Coast rail corridor and is the first step to reconnect the highly productive cities and towns that originally developed around the private rail investment made by Henry Flagler. It is estimated to bring 2,000 to 4,000 new passengers into downtown Miami every day and to serve as the first major step to getting Tri Rail Coastal Link running, which will provide enormous economic development benefits to the region.
Major infrastructure projects, like the Tri-Rail extension, require the cooperation and long-term vision of leaders like you, and I urge you to see the tremendous benefits and impacts this transformational project will realize.
>>> NAME <<<<
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.
Rails-to-Trail conservancy leading the charge for a multiuse trail along the FEC right of way. Get behind this campaign – sign the petition now:
Follow http://fecgreenway.org/ to keep up to date on the effort to create a rail with trail along the FEC right of way.
The national nonprofit group, which is dedicated to creating a network of trails, including from former rail lines, says not including a parallel pathway to All Aboard Florida “would be an outdated piece of transportation infrastructure that would fail to mitigate traffic congestion, mobility and environmental impacts.”
All Aboard Florida is a planned express passenger service between Miami and Orlando that will run 32 trains per day on the FEC tracks. The trains are expected to travel at speeds between 79 mph and 125 mph.
The plan for the additional trains includes adding a double track to much of the route.
According to a press announcement released yesterday, Rails to Trails Florida Director Ken Bryan said including walking…
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