Hollywood a Possible Neighborhood Center for Planned Tri-Rail Coastal Link

Hollywood Gazette

Patti Morin wants to be able to travel more throughout South Florida. But she is concerned about the growing amount of traffic and the difficulty of traveling by car in the region.

“We need more public transportation in this area,” said Morin.

“The congestion on I-95 is getting worse,” noted Achim Nowak “It is becoming harder for people to use their cars. I think a new train station would be wonderful for Hollywood.”

Morin and Nowak were among the local residents, business owners and community stakeholders participating in the Tri-Rail Coastal Link Station Area Master Plan Community Planning Session on Saturday, December 2, at the Fred Lippman Multi-Purpose Center in Hollywood. The planned service, designed to be a major commuter railroad for the east coast of Florida from Miami to Jupiter, would operate on the Florida East Coast Railroad (FEC) track on Dixie Highway (Tri-Rail and other passenger trains now use the CSX tracks which run near I-95). Hollywood leaders are working closely with the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, planning and zoning officials and the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority to make it happen. A Hollywood station would be a strategic stop between the major hubs of Aventura and Fort Lauderdale. The train station would be at the center of a larger community that would include business and housing development. Public sentiment at the meeting was leaning toward a downtown location near the Lippman Center.

Dana Little, urban design director for the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, said the meeting offered people an opportunity to create their desired train stations for the service’s master plan. Working together in groups, they presented recommendations including more green space, housing and business projects and efforts to improve the area. They want a new train station and updated development to surround it. Most of those who participated believe there is a need for more effective public transportation and an effort to encourage more people to walk or cycle in Hollywood.

The planned Tri-Rail Coastal Link service on the FEC railway is a strategic investment for South Florida and could help in the economic development of the region. The Coastal Link will generate an extensive range of benefits that go beyond the direct impact of any individual project, including spurring economic development, creating jobs, improving regional access and mobility and providing opportunities for transit-oriented development. The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, the Florida Department Transportation Council and the South Florida and Treasure Coast Regional Planning Councils are working together to develop the Coastal Link service.

More information is available at http://tri-railcoastallink.com

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