By Alisha McDarris
For Hometown News
TREASURE COAST -- One Treasure Coast grassroots organization is on a mission to inform the public and shut down All Aboard Florida's high-speed rail, but they can't do it alone.
Florida Not All Aboard, co-founded by K.C. Traylor two months ago before "high speed rail" became a buzz word, wants nothing more than to keep 16 high speed passenger trains from shooting through the area 32 times a day.
"It's going to change our community for the worse like nothing has ever done before," Traylor said.
According to Traylor there are safety concerns both for rails that are 125 years old and pedestrian and vehicular traffic around the rails. The Federal Railroad Association's safety guidelines are not appropriate, either, said Traylor. It will impact the flow of traffic both on the road and in the water and could even steal parking spaces from downtown areas.
"There are a lot of detrimental effects and no benefits," Traylor said.
Plus, it's hardly the private venture the public was originally made to believe. All Aboard Florida said in the beginning it would be funded by private companies, not taxes, but has since applied for a government loan for $1.5 million. Governor Rick Scott even pledged $215 million tax dollars to fund a train depot by the Orlando Airport.
"This is anything but private money," Traylor said.
But what Traylor said much of the public is unaware of is that All Aboard Florida is not yet set in stone. Their loan request has not been approved, an environmental impact study has not been performed, and the U.S. Coast Guard needs to weigh in on bridge closures, according to Traylor.
Besides, Traylor said, there isn't a single profitable passenger rail line in the country and no one has produced statistics that state whether or not the project is feasible.
What that means, Traylor explained, is that there is still time for the public to take action. Traylor is on a mission to urge residents to sign Florida Not All Aboard's petition and write their legislators to let them know where they stand.
"The more voters that are letting them know that they're not supportive of the project the more they'll listen," Traylor said.
Florida Not All Aboard has made it easy for residents to make themselves heard by posting legislators' addresses as well as their petition on their website, www.floridanotallaboard.com.
There will also be several rallies around town to inform and bring the high speed rail's opponents together to make a statement. On Sunday, April 27, at 10 a.m., the organization Save Sailfish City is hosting a flotilla for boaters. They will meet on the west side of the Roosevelt Bridge in Stuart.
On Sunday, May 4, Florida Not All Aboard has organized a high-energy rally in Flagler Park at 10 a.m. where people can get information and sign the petition. Officials like Congressman Patrick Murphy and local commissioners will also be present, all in the name of public awareness and in hope of keeping the rail from sweeping through the city.
"We've got to keep up the rally cry until that happens," Traylor said.