What’s On My Mind November 5

One of those²days. Lots to talk about and just where do we begin?

Well how about Florida? Couple of letters about ALL ABOARD FLORIDA

All Aboard Florida will bring benefits to state

I would like to share a few thoughts as Florida considers its future in providing transportation options for its residents and visitors.

The All Aboard Florida project offers job creation and economic development and a new, desirable way for travelers to move between two of Florida’s most important destinations, as well as reducing traffic on Florida’s congested roads. Local issues (noise, delays, safety) have been mitigated by communities working with All Aboard Florida, as exemplified by the recent vote of the Brevard County Commission to support the project. And because the All Aboard Florida project is privately funded, there is no risk to taxpayers.

Yet, All Aboard Florida has its critics — primarily local groups acting in their own self-interest. CARE (Citizens Against Rail Expansion) is an example of an organization, consisting of people living in wealthy developments near the All Aboard Florida tracks, that solely has its own interests in mind. CARE continues to spread mistruths about the All Aboard Florida project in an attempt to build support from those who are less informed. It appears CARE has taken the Not in My Back Yard mentality to new heights, caring only about its wealthy communities over the greater gains to citizens of Florida.

I am proud to support All Aboard Florida and the tremendous benefits it will bring to Florida.

Gail Larkin

Orlando

All Aboard’s trains will bring noise, disrupt traffic

I find it interesting that, according to a recent FLORIDA TODAY story, 26 out of 43 people supported All Aboard Florida at the recent Brevard County Commission meeting.

A letter writer asked in his recent letter, “How many of the AAF supporters live and work in Brevard?” My question: If they live here, how close are they to the FEC (Florida East Coast Railway) tracks?

When it was pointed out that property values could drop 20 percent, these people still voiced support. They probably don’t live near the tracks. My land abuts FEC property.

Little attention was given to the noise factor caused by All Aboard’s 32 passenger trains a day running between Miami and Orlando. Some engineers are horn happy, blasting four to five times. This happens every morning about 4:30 a.m., except on Sunday. Then, 20 to 30 minutes later, you hear blasts from a train traveling in the opposite direction. When doors and windows are open, it’s deafening. One can’t even hear TV.

Then there’s the vibration factor caused by the trains. A cypress clock fell off the wall, shearing off the hands, and wall pictures shift.

People east of the tracks usually need to cross them when going to a store, bank, church, shopping or doctor. Crossing gates will be down frequently. What about emergency vehicles? What about someone selling their home? Who would buy it when trains whiz by so many times a day? Freight trains appear to travel faster and are more heavily loaded than when I moved here, increasing noise and vibration.

Our commissioners should think about the effect AAF will have on homeowners. Kudos to the two commissioners who voted “no.”

Mary Lou Trowbridge

Melbourne